Chinese Annual Meetings – 年会

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Year-end corporate parties are called 年会 (niánhuì) in Mandarin. These festive events, which are held just before the Chinese New Year Holidays (春节) , give employees and employers alike a chance to kick-back and have some fun after a year’s long work. So what’s it like to attend one of these annual parties?

I’ve got a golden ticket!

If you’ll pardon the Willy Wonka reference, that is just what many Chinese year-end parties are all about – prizes and raffles. And most companies don’t cheap-out either! The trend in recent years for 年会 raffle draws have been for Apple products, and this year, the recently released iPadMini and iPhone5 share the spotlight. In fact, the rave over Apple products has become so strong in China, that company orders for “year-end draws” are affecting the market. As quoted in an article from WantChinaTimes,

“Under such circumstances, prices of Apple products in the gray market also rose. For instance, the price of an iPad Mini has appreciated by 200 yuan (US$32) to 500 yuan (US$80).”

Some super-corporations go even further as to include luxury cars or engorged hongbao-红包 (in the tens of thousands of RMB range) as prizes. This might come as quite a shock if you’re used to playing secret Santa at those year-end Christmas dinners in many western countries.


A party wouldn’t be a party without ample sustenance. Whether it be an intimate dinner for a small venture company, or an extravagant banquet for a Chinese-equivalent fortune five hundred, your belly is sure to be stuffed. In addition, with free-drinks all around, don’t be surprised if the next morning you wake up feeling a little fuzzy.

KTV anyone?

Likely the pièce de résistance of many year-end parties in China is KTV. After everyone has had their fill of food and drink, it is time to let loose and show off your incredible vocal skills (or for some shy folks, sit back and hide in the corner). Most small companies will book a room or two at a KTV establishment; however, larger companies are known to carry out performances right in the banquet hall itself.

To find out more about Chinese year-end corporate parties, check out our Intermediate Lesson on 年会!

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S Chen

About S Chen

Director of My Learning Club Pty Ltd. Owner of Learn Chinese Cairns
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