Not About the Year of the Rat

I had planned for this post to be about the Chinese Year of the Rat, and what it means if you were born in 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984 or 1996. But I’m writing this in China, having recently returned from a brief trip to the UK, and it doesn’t feel like the right time to try to entertain you with the story of the Chinese horoscope. Our thoughts are with the people of Wuhan, and everyone else who has been affected by the outbreak of the coronavirus.

We’re in Xinzheng, a satellite city of a second tier city called Zhengzhou, more than 300 miles from Wuhan. Even so, most restaurants and public places here seem to be closed, and the streets are very quiet with only occasional passers-by. Travel between districts of the city is restricted, and almost everyone we see is wearing surgical-style masks.

Despite the subdued atmosphere here, I would like to wish you a very happy Year of the Rat. According to Chinese culture, people born in the year of the Rat are said to be clever, quick and resourceful, and that description could be applied to the Chinese people as a whole. I’m sure that that resourcefulness will overcome this virus outbreak sooner or later. Traditionally, the rat is also a symbol of wealth and surplus, and I wish you every success with your ventures over the rest of this new lunar year.

Best wishes

Paul

P.S. Yesterday was also Australia Day. If you haven’t seen it already, you’ll want to watch this on-demand webinar on ‘How to Survive a Transfer Pricing Audit in Australia’, with Zara Richie, BDO Head of Global Transfer Pricing Services. You can register for the webinar here.

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