If one day during Spring Festival, your door bell rings and a young foreigner is at your door with your parcels, don't be surprised.
Chinese e-commerce supplier Suning Tesco is hiring foreign students to work as couriers, to ensure efficient express delivery services during Spring Festival.
The upcoming festival, China's Lunar New Year, is expected to leave online shopping sites short-handed due to an exodus of workers. But to stand out in a competitive market, Suning Tesco is looking for foreign part-time workers to keep business running normally, at least in major cities, during this time.
Suning Tesco has recruited a group of foreign students to be couriers in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Nanjing and Chengdu.
"All candidates need to receive training on basic greetings in Chinese and gestures, before they actually take on the job," said a worker from Suning Tesco's delivery department.
Russian exchange student from Guangzhou University, Ivan, is among the foreign couriers. "I never celebrated Spring Festival in China, very happy to have the chance to visit households, and experience real Chinese lunar new year greetings," he said.
Besides the shortage of employees, the express delivery industry was hit hard by the cold front that swept most parts of China.
Facing a slew of delays, the speed of parcel deliveries has slowed by 20 percent from Jan 20 to Jan 24, largely due to the bad weather, according to statistics from Cainiao, Alibaba's logistics arm. Couriers are also facing other barriers, such as traffic congestion and frozen fuel tanks.