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Further shutdowns in China increase chance for shipment delays

Published January 29, 2020

(BRAIN) — Due to the spread of the coronavirus, Chinese businesses and government officials are extending the Lunar New Years holiday closing period until at least Feb. 8 in more regions, increasing the likelihood of bicycle shipment delays. 

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Officials in Suzhou, a manufacturing hub, say businesses will stay closed until the 8th.

"This will start to slow the business down. The Suzhou area includes Kunshan, Taichang, and Jiangsu, (which) all do a lot of bikes and parts," industry veteran Mark Pippin told BRAIN. Pippin is director of the bicycle business for Madison, a United Kingdom distributor.

Many businesses in China and Taiwan normally would have re-opened this Friday, Jan. 31 following the holiday but officials have officially extended the holiday to Feb. 3 nationally and some individual cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, have extended it to Feb. 9 or 10. Several airlines have canceled flights into mainland China. 

Organizers of ISPO Beijing, a sports industry trade show that includes a fair number of bike industry attendees and exhibitors, announced that they were canceling this year's show because of the virus. The show had been scheduled for Feb. 12-15. 

The Tour of Hainan, a UCI sanctioned stage race scheduled for Feb. 23-March 1, also has been canceled because of the outbreak. Hainan Province, where the race is held, encompasses several islands in the South China Sea. 

Several bike suppliers told BRAIN earlier this week that they will not be sending employees to China during the outbreak, which could delay shipments. They also are concerned that factories will not resume manufacturing immediately following the holiday, in part because many workers return home for the holiday and now can't return to work because of quarantines. 

ISPO Beijing has been canceled because of the outbreak.

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