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December 27, 2011

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What ayi shortage? Expats on holiday won't notice

THE normal ayi shortage around the Chinese New Year holiday does not seem likely to affect expat families in Shanghai this year, household service companies said yesterday.

The Chinese New Year's Day will fall on January 23, and the Spring Festival holiday starts January 22. Most ayis will start going back to hometowns in early January to prepare for the most significant holiday in China, and they won't be back until early February.

The Jialilai Household Service Co Ltd said that as Spring Festival comes early this year, the holiday may overlap with some expats' New Year's visits to their home countries, and they also may not return until February.

"From our observation, not many expats complained that they have to find a new ayi temporarily," said Xia Jun, general manager of the company.

Meanwhile, as expats offer higher salaries than do Chinese households, some ayis choose to give up their holiday to stay for work in the city.

"We found that ayis whose monthly salary is 5,000 yuan (US$790) to 8,000 yuan are much more willing to stay in Shanghai than those who earn 2,000 to 2,500 yuan," said Li Rong, general manager of Laibang Household Service Co Ltd.

Chinese families - especially senior-only families - are looking for hourly paid ayis to replace their homestay ayis who will be gone during the Spring Festival.


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