Chinese business hours vary from 8:00am-5:00pm, 8.30am-5.30pm or 9:00am-6:00pm. At government offices, working hours are usually 9:00am-5:00pm. Almost all government offices, institutions, schools and other official units do not work on Saturday and Sunday.
If you are not sure what time your business contacts commence work, avoid scheduling meetings early or late in the day.
Most shops are generally open from 9.00am to 8.00pm every day, including most public holidays, with the exception of Chinese New Year.
Public holidays and festivals for 2017
Please note that many public holidays in China are based on the lunar calendar so the date tends to change each year.
January 1 - New Year’s Day
January 27 - Chinese New Year’s Eve (day before the first day of the lunar month)
January 28 - Chinese New Year (first day of the lunar month)
January 29 - Chinese New Year (second day of the lunar month)
January 30 - Chinese New Year (third day of the lunar month)
January 31 - Chinese New Year (fourth day of the lunar month)
April 5 - Qing Ming Festival
May 1 - Labour Day
May 30 - Dragon Boat Festival
October 1 - National Day
October 2 - National Day Holiday
October 3 - National Day Holiday
October 4 - National Day Holiday
October 5 - National Day Holiday
October 6 - National Day Holiday
China is a large country with significant differences between each regional climates. Generally speaking, provinces to the north of the Yangzi River have long, hot summers and long, cold winters with very short autumns and springs. Provinces to the south of the Yangzi have hotter summers that are just as long as well as slightly cooler, shorter winters. China’s west is also home to extreme changes in temperature between the seasons, with incredibly cold winters and very hot summers.
Beijing’s winter lasts from early November to early March and temperatures hover around zero degrees celsius yet can drop down to -20 C. Beijing’s summer lasts from early June to mid-September. The summer is very hot and temperatures tend to hover around 30 C.
Shanghai’s winter lasts from December to February. During this time, temperatures tend to range from zero degrees to 10 C. The summer in Shanghai starts in June and ends in September. The temperatures during this time can get as high as 35 C.
Guangzhou’s summer is a long one that lasts from April to September. There is often a lot of rain during this period and typhoons can take place occasionally. The temperature hovers around 30 C. The winter in
Guangzhou is cool but only lasts for December and January. The average temperature for the winter is between 14 C and 15 C.
For weather details in China, please visit the World Meteorological Organisation.
The Chinese currency is Renminbi (RMB) and is calculated in yuan (commonly called ‘kuai’). One yuan is divided into 10 Jiao (also known as Mao) and each Jiao is further divided into 10 Fen (i.e. 100 fen into a yuan).
China has a relatively sophisticated and heavily regulated banking sector. Australian banks such as ANZ, Commonwealth, NAB and Westpac have branch offices in China, offering a range of services. Australian travellers to China should confirm with their bank the services available to them through these branches before visiting the market.
Many of China’s largest banks have a significant presence in Australia, including the Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of Communications, China Construction Bank and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.
While state owned media continues to play an important role in the Chinese news and media landscape, overall the sector has become increasingly commercial, with growing competition and diversified content. The Chinese Government often plays an active role in deciding what content is highlighted in news media.
As of today, there are more than one thousand newspapers and thousands of periodicals available to consumers in the market. Influential national newspapers such as the People’s Daily, Reference News, China Youth Daily, and the Global Times are all Beijing-based with circulation ranging from the hundreds of thousands to the millions.
Beyond the national level publications, the sector is highly segmented, with two - three major metropolitan newspapers generally dominant at the regional level in China’s 30+ provinces. Examples include the Beijing Evening, Shanghai Morning Post, and Yangcheng Evening News.
In the business sphere, leading publications include the 21st Century Business Herald, the Economic Observer, Caijing, Century Weekly, Global Entrepreneur and the China Business News Weekly, as well as industry specific trade media.
It’s important to note that in many respects China is at the forefront of digital media innovations globally, including social media, mobile applications and broader digital ecosystems. A large number of consumers rely almost exclusively on digital platforms such as WeChat or Weibo for their information needs. Multinational and local businesses have adapted their marketing strategies and increased investment in digital media.
Time zones and time differences
All of China is set to Beijing time, which is two hours behind Australian Eastern Standard Time.
Perth, Western Australia is in the same time zone as Beijing.
To find out the current time in Beijing, view the world clock.
China's country code is +86.
For calls to China from Australia dial: 0011 + 86 + area code + telephone number.
For calls from China to Australia dial: 00 + 61 + area code + telephone number.
Find out more about Australian area codes or international dialling codes.
Electricity and water
China’s electricity supply is 220 volts, 60 Hz; 1, 3, phases, 2, 4 wires. Some hotels also have 110 volt connection points. Connections can be angled or round three-prong or flat two-pin. It is recommended that you carry a multiple international adapter.
Drink only bottled or properly filtered water, tap water at most hotels is not drinkable. Boiling tap water may not remove heavy metals or other contaminants in the water.
Links and resources
Australia-China Business Council
Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Australia-China Chamber of Commerce (Beijing, South China, West China and Bohai)
Australia-China Chamber of Commerce (Shanghai)
Australian Industry Group
Travel and tourism
China is one of the world’s most popular travel destinations. For more information visit the website of the China National Tourism Office.