Enterprises in Zhejiang-based Yiwu International Trade Mart, dubbed the world's largest wholesale market place of small commodities, have reported losses of more than 100 million yuan ($16.47 million) in unsold 2014 calendars following the government's austerity drive.
Sales have slumped since October 31 when the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China (CPC) issued a notice about thrift, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
The notice forbids Party and government organizations from purchasing, printing, posting and sending goods, including greetings cards and calendars, with public funds.
The ban has meant many orders were withdrawn.
"I wanted to cry when I got lots of cancelled orders," an anonymous vendor in Yiwu was quoted as saying by Xinhua, adding that he has lost more than 1 million yuan.
"My calendars have turned into waste paper," he said.
About 200 calendar companies in Yiwu have lost at least 100 million yuan this year, Jin Jingxi, president of Yiwu cultural present industry association, told Xinhua, adding that the calendar industry mainly relies on orders from government agencies and State-owned enterprises.
Cangnan county in Wenzhou, whose 200-some companies produce 75 percent of calendars sold in China, have seen a 50 percent reduction in sales from last year, said Chen Bangjing, president of local calendar industry association.
"We feel puzzled as to how to survive in the future," Chen said. "It's not easy for the industry to transform the way it's been operating."
Lin Hongnuan, a manager of a paper plastic products company in Cangnan, said his company was not really affected, as he realized that companies could not rely on government orders after the CPC's eight rules of advocating a frugal lifestyle were first published, Xinhua reported on Monday.
He said that most of his clients are private enterprises, adding that the calendar business will not disappear, but does need to be transformed.