Chinese Visa Update: Magic’s Word

Thursday, April 17, 2008 20:41
Posted in category Uncategorized

Just spoke to Magic, a well known consultant in Shanghai, about the current mess and it seems that the door opened again on the 16th… theoretically

Take a look at the update he has on his site. He told me that he has still yet to confirm everything as apparently the numbers are all busy right now, but as things change he will continue to update his site.

On a seperate, but related issue, I have heard from a number of sources that at the Canton Fair (the biggest fair ever), you can hear crickets.  Attendance levels are off 30% or more, and some of the manufacturers we have spoken with decided not to attend last minute as they have heard that it is bad…

Will be interesting to look back in three years to see what the impact will be, but as many buyers had their visas rejected in HK, it is pretty clear that this policy is going to have an economic impact from reduced orders, loss of hotel revenue, etc..

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6 Responses to “Chinese Visa Update: Magic’s Word”

  1. David says:

    April 17th, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    Richard –

    Remember Comdex? Massive PC show in Vegas…. doesn’t even exist anymore.

    Canton Fair declines could be a sign that China sourcing has become less complicated, more distributed, more direct and relationships have grown stronger. Both trends make the trade show environment less important. Or, worst case, this is a leading indicator of a the strength of the current recession….

    Keep an eye on official numbers – if they exist. This may be a very interesting predictor of all sorts of supply chain activity and demand over the next 8 months. If you’re feeling really curious, you might mash-up Canton Show attendence with same year China export ocean and air freight volumes….. for example.

    Thanks and keep up the good work.

    BTW. I left Shanghai early for Singapore. See you next time.

    David

  2. Derek Hildenbrand says:

    April 21st, 2008 at 5:23 am

    yes my days are numbered in China…will not put up with this crap. Looks like China will be loosing lots of business and more importantly foreign businesses and FDI. It’s pretty obvious what will happen to the Chinese economy in foreigners start packing up and leaving. If I had a company in China would be looking into an exit strategy asap.

  3. Derek Hildenbrand says:

    April 21st, 2008 at 5:30 am

    After through research and talking to many visa companies in Beijing over the past week I’ve uncovered that all new T,F visas are only single entry. T for one month, F maximum stay up to July 1st. The visa companies don’t know what will happen after July 1st. I have been in Beijing for 4 years as have most of my friends and think a good proportion will be leaving and not coming back after this fiasco. Have a friend that’s going to try in HK in a few days to try for a Z visa…will let you know how it turns out (think he will end up having to go back to Canada to get a visa…result is he will probably not come back to China). It would be nice to find out what China hopes to gain from this idiotic visa policy. Either way I know it will backfire on the Chinese economy.

  4. Stuart Burns says:

    April 21st, 2008 at 6:05 am

    Richard,
    I cant speak for the economy as a whole but as far as the metals business is concerned the recent changes in vat rebates and the imposition of export duties has had a profound affect on exports of lower value add Non Ferrous semi-finished metals. During 2006/7 exports rose steadily and China was beginning to carve out a position in Europe as a reasonably reliable (some producers more than others) and decent quality supplier of non ferrous semis but within the space of 3 months exports have dried up. Consequently buyers I know who would normally have attended fairs to seek out new sources are not going this year. If that situation is replicated across other industries it could explain the lack of interest in Canton. The flip side is it speaks volumes about the governments ability to manipulate import/export flows, their avowed aim last year was to curtail over investment in the steel and metals industries by stopping exports of high energy consuming basic metal products and it looks like they have achieved that.

  5. Rich says:

    April 21st, 2008 at 6:21 am

    Derek,

    I have spoken to a lot of people who are in your position, and it is one that I wouldn’t wish many to find themselves in.

    To be honest though, this is something that we all saw coming. China has been cracking down on visas for a while now (there have been several public campaigns over the last 5 years), but there really should have been more warning on this as it will have a huge impact on the month’s conference/ events..

    As for the long term, after Olympics, I would not expect that it will be easy to get the 6 month/ 12 month visas. China has been on a clear track to remove improperly documented workers, and they drew their line in the sand last week.

    Why last week? well, in my opinion, it has little to do with the freelancers who are assisting on a sourcing project, write some code, or are running bars… it is a response to the recent news coverage, and those who write it.

    As for your remarks about not coming back, well.. that is too bad. To be honest, I am not on your side there, but you will make your own decisions.. however, just remember that in the grand scheme of things we all have it really good here. We need a visa, and a couple of phone calls did the trick for years.. we don’t have to put together reams of paper, get recommendations, di out bank statements, put down our finger prints…. or any of the other hurdles their own people are subjected to when looking for a visa to our home countries.

    R

  6. Rich says:

    April 21st, 2008 at 6:23 am

    Stuart,

    We were just talking about this today, and while I won’t give all my insights away for free, this is a trend that I would bet money on continuing past metals. Growth/ investment will be reined in on a number of sectors to ensure the ongoing concern that is China. There are those that will benefit from the move, some that won’t, but I will let you know if I hear anything that confirms my thoughts.

    R