A recent report on the ABC News (Australia) website told of ‘Chinese Personal Shoppers’ complaining of being unfairly hounded and abused by other shoppers. The article provided a video taken by a member of the public showing a cluster of shoppers (of Chinese appearance) greedily hoarding baby formula before anyone else could purchase the items.
The daigou – the Chinese word used for Chinese Personal Shoppers – have been taking abuse from the public, said 28 year old permanent resident Wenbo Zhao. Miss Zhao claims she had photos taken of her while she was purchasing supplements for a client. But the 28 year old said, “I don’t blame the Australian people because they don’t know much about Chinese daigou … that’s why there is a misunderstanding.”
While some Australians’ anger in regard to daigou is motivated by financial envy, Conservative Kookaburra’s anger is not. What angers Big Kooka about daigou is that they’re pilfering store shelves and denying Australian parents of a much needed product. Zhao, the attractive star of the ABC report, felt that by telling the public she only makes $10 on a $70 box of cherries would garner some sympathy. Maybe that is so for Australians who had financial envy, but the facts are that if she and the estimated 400,000 daigou in Australia (no doubt some Australian born) are pilfering products the limited supply for Australian consumers means price increases.
So daigou will become associated with Aussies losing out.
Some of the Chinese Personal Shoppers have also stated that what they’re doing is perfectly legal. They are taking advantage of a loophole in foreign trade regulations and the daigou claim that everyone can do the same. Obviously that’s not true. The average Australian lacks appropriate connections and language skills to build a market for the quality food products that Chinese covet.
The story also failed to mention that it was racist Chinese policy that made it difficult for Australian businesses to gain a foothold in China. But pointing out China’s inherent racism has never been the strong suit of ABC Australia.
There is no doubt the negative perception of daigou will continue unabated. And though they believe the Australian people are only motivated by financial envy, they are very wrong. Daigou should expect Australians to take advantage of the loophole in Australian public life that allows free speech. And the content of that free speech could become very unpleasant.