Why Daigou wipe out Australia market?

Name: Xuan Guo

SID: 440411668

Major: Master Degree of Media Practice

According to the report of Sydney Morning Herald, an Australian oversea student earned 40,000 dollars by Daigou milk powder in a year. This similar incident happened frequently, and more Chinese oversea students have operated their Daigou career successfully in Australia. Although Daigou makes local people lacks of milk powder indirectly and leads to the controversy in Australia, but some of them expressed they had difficulties to do Daigou and compared with the store of Daigou, they just earned little money to feed themselves.

High-quality and High-profit of the products

Daigou, is to find people to purchase the products which are not sold in consumer’s location or more expensive than other countries, so they ask others to buy it and deliver to them by express or bringing it to them directly.

Australia is famous for its baby formula, milk powder and health care products thanks to its high quality. Since “milk scandal” happened in China, Chinese people were worried about domestic milk, so they began to target at international market and use varieties ways to import baby formula. Also, Australia has many Chinese oversea students and immigrations and they have found Daigou seemed like a good chance to earn profit. Thus, Daigou have become more popular among Chinese.


Image from interviewee

“I have begun my Daigou since two months later after I studied in the University. At first, my friends and relatives ask me to buy something and express to them, but I found Daigou consumed my time and labor, so I began to collect extra money to feed myself, then I found Daigou could earn more money than I thought and some of my friends also did Daigou, so when I had spare time, I did Daigou to earn profits”, Jenny Liu, a business student who have done Daigou for more than years said.

Comparing with China, the product price of Sydney is much more expensive, so in the store of Daigou, Chinese restaurant and Chinese market, Chinese oversea students are everywhere. In fact, although Daigou is tried, but the work time Daigou is free and the consumers are settled, so basically, there have not so much problems during Daigou.

“The price in Sydney is much more expensive than my hometown, although my parents can support me, I don’t want to use so much money. Furthermore, I usually have many assignments and presentations to do, so I have no stable time to do part-time in the restaurant or market. Daigou can satisfy the conditions and also earn considerable money, so that’s why I want to do Daigou,” Jenny said, “I’m not saying doing Daigou is a good thing, but sometimes the high price and life pressure push me try to think how to earn more money to support myself”.

All blame on Chinese people is right or wrong?

Contraposing Daigou, lots of Australian mom have complained on the local website and social media and doubted Australian retailers, suppliers and managers need to do more actions to stop Daigou. Local people complained they could not tolerate this behavior and blamed Chinese to stop Daigou. Costy Williams is a mother who is living in Sydney, she published a post on the Facebook and said she could not find any Bellamy milk power in Coles around 20 kilometers. Some Australians rebuked Chinese ‘Daigou’ and buyers bought all the milk powder from supermarkets, even some people posted several pictures about Chinese people ‘wiped out’ Bellamy and Aptamil milk powder in the supermarket.

“When I access to the area of milk powder in Coles or Woolworth, I can feel some strange sight from local people, but I think they can not blame us totally. I have heard from my boss that some local people, even Woolworth staffs will convey many milk powders to Chinese people who are operating the store of Daigou with high prices, in order to earn more money. Thus, sometimes they are willing to do this”, said Lily Yang, a student who is doing part-time job in the store of Daigou.

Sometimes, Chinese students can not buy the products from supermarket or chemistry, so they come to the store of Daigou to buy what they need to purchase. In Australia, the store of Daigou is everywhere, especially in the city or the suburb where Chinese people live in. Jackson Wang, a boss of the store of Daigou, has opened several sub branches in Sydney.

“The supply of the milk powder and baby formula is from local retailers which can guarantee their qualification in my store, and most of my customers always buy a box of milk powders and baby formulas. We have cooperated with express companies, so we can get some of the goods from those companies,” Jackson said, “as for our health care products, sometimes I pay money to local people and ask them to buy lots of health products from many chemistry store, and we sell them with higher price.”


Image from interviewee’s mobile

Making rules is not enough

Recognizing the serious situation of Daigou, Australian Government stipulated that small exports of baby formula are legal but those over 10kg must be sourced from registered export establishments, have a health certificate and meet all of China’s import requirements. Failure to meet these standards can incur penalties of up to 12 months’ jail, while providing false information can result in five years in jail. With the alteration of Australian law, express firms also change their stipulation of delivering milk products and health care products. In supermarket, one person can just buy two baby formulas. However, Lily indicated that she can ask her friends to help her buy the milk products, so the regulation could not restrict her.

In conclusion, Daigou in Australia is not acknowledged by local government, but some of them do Daigou is to earn extra money to support their daily life, but some of them do Daigou as a normal career. The development of Daigou also let local people see the chance to earn more profits, so local retailers are willing to cooperate with Daigou store to gain more money. In another aspect, the rule that Australian government established can not solve this question totally, local people still appeal government to pay attention to Daigou.

Word count: 1010

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Are Chinese students paying too much to study in Australia?



The cost of studying in Australia is higher than in any other country. Photo source: http://www.enaindia.in



“I just worked for five hours, so I am a little tired.” Said Lily, who is an international student studying in the University of Sydney and has been in Sydney for five months.

About three months ago, she fund a part-time job to sell box lunch in the train station, and she could get 10 dollar every hour. “Though the salary is very low, it can reduce the pressure of my life.”

Actually, the salary of this kind of part-time job is below the average, which is about 14.5 dollar per hour. But most of the international students choose to find a part-time to reduce the pressure of their life just like Lily.

“I can use this money to buy an apartment about 100 Square meters with three bedrooms!”

“I am not the second generation of the rich, and I just come from an ordinary family. My tuition fee is AU$40,000 per year and the cost of living every year is about AU$15,000, which exchanged to Chinese Yuan is about 280,000 Yuan.

So, when I finish my two years’ study, I have to cost about 560,000 Yuan. In my hometown, which is a small city in China, I can use this money to buy an apartment about 100 Square meters with three bedrooms!”

According to a recent report, the cost of study in Australia is higher than in any other country such as the US and UK. The total cost for international student study in Australia, including annual fees and the cost of living, is calculated at USD 42,000 a year.


屏幕快照 2016-04-28 上午12.00.58
Chinese students have a large proportion in USYD


Also, Australia has the most proportion of international students—about 20 percent of the country’s higher education enrolments are international, compared to the global average of about 7 percent. Whenever you walk around your campus, there are always people of different nationalities speaking different languages. Among those, Chinese students have a large proportion.

“My parents pay my tuition fee and the cost of living. Actually, they pay the fee by their saving. So I choose to earn some money during my spare time to reduce the pressure of my family.” Lily said with the phone in her hand.

” I often pay attention to the rate and exchange some money”

“I just exchanged my Chinese Yuan to 5ooo Australian Dollar using the app in my phone. The exchange rate of the Australian Dollar to Chinese Yuan is changing in recent months, so I often pay attention to the rate and exchange some money for my study and life when the rate is appropriate to me. Actually, this can help me save some money.”


A screenshot of Lily’s phone when she was exchanging Chinese Yuan to Australian dollar



According to Australian dollar rate, there is a bad news for Chinese students, which means that Chinese students are now likely to get less Australian dollar in exchange for their money currency.

The international student fee t is 140 per cent higher than the domestic fee

The universities in Australia publish both the domestic and International students’ fee on the school website, including the University of Sydney. In the website, take the Master of Commence as an example, which has a large proportion of Chinese students, we can see the study fee for International students is AU$40,000 per year, compared to the domestic student fee which is AU$29,500 per year.

This means that the international student fee in this subject is 140 per cent higher than the domestic fee. Actually, all the subjects have the same phenomenon—international students have to pay more than domestic students.

Simply put, international students are big business for universities and for the economy. Even so, the university increases the international tuition fee every year.

The number of progressed application for the fellowship is limited

The Australia Awards are international scholarships and fellowships funded by the Australian government, which are available to nationals and citizens from eligible countries, which is Asia, the Pacific, Middle East and Africa.

 The Australia Awards Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships are funded by the Australian Government, and aims to support the internationalization of the Australian higher education especially the postgraduate-level study and research.

There are also eligible countries, which are in the round of Americas, Asia, Europe and Middle East. The application for the scholarship and fellowship of 2017 is now open and will be closed on 30 June 2016, and it must be submitted using the Endeavour Online application system.

Though there are different kinds of scholarships and fellowships for international students to apply, the number of progressed application is limited. So it is not a good way for international students especially Chinese students to reduce the pressure of studying in Australia.

 “The universities see us as cash cows!”

About two decades ago, there weren’t too many Chinese students, while in recent years, we can see a marked difference. More and more Chinese students come to Australia to have a higher degree.

Some of them want to have a high quality of education, some want to become the permanent residence in Australia, and others may want to avoid the intense competition. No matter what reasons, more and more Chinese students choose to study in Australia.


Image source: http://www.linkedin.com


The average international students pay is around AU$42,000 annually, about 2 times as much as domestic students. International students contributed about AU$15 billion to the Australian every year, which makes the higher education the third biggest export.


For the universities in Australia, it is a good way to raise their revenue. So we will not surprised to here the Chinese students saying “the universities see us as cash cows!”


Congying Li

SID: 450487970

Word Count: 950 words

The Time to Study in Australia Has Come

By Hu Jiayi in Sydney, Australia

Updated: 2015-06-03

During graduation, more students pay attention to overseas study information in order to further their study or upgrade themselves for better jobs. Here are four favorable factors that tell you why the time is ripe to study in Australia.

In 2014, new visa rules witnessed a 20 per cent increase on the previous year’s figure of Chinese high school students’ enrollment in Australia according to a report about Chinese students’ preference for Australian education from ABC news.

The Australian Government’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) made a number of changes to student visas as following: Assessment Level (AL) Framework has been simplified to three assessment levels (AL1 to AL3) through the removal of AL4 and AL5. Student visa applicants who need to supply evidences for their English-language proficiency can submit results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT), the Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic and the Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test and the long accepted IELTS results. Also, the student visa application charge has reduced from AUD $565 to $535.

“Applications for Australian high school shows an increasing tendency and the amount is more than that of 2013.” Says Jinghua Pan, the education consultant of Guangzhou Overseas Chinese Service Center, which is the first abroad and immigration institution of Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China.

In addition, new visa rules for international high school students show that students can go to study in Australia on student visa as soon as grade seven, which is more convenient for lower grade students compared to the restriction of grade-nine-above before the rules were amended.

“More Chinese students apply for Australian high school since the release of Australian new visa policy. We got 50% growth compared to the data in 2013, and the major applicants are grade eight and grade nine students.” Says Xue Lei, the senior consultant of CStudyAbroad.com, which is a study-abroad agency that specialized in providing services for studying in Australia.

Interestingly, this new visa rule paves the way for the “go earlier” strategy that share by most Chinese families. They believe the earlier their children go overseas, the earlier their children can adapt to the country to gain foreign languages capacities and life skills. Also, they may have more opportunities to attend good universities if they finish their high school educations.

Dan Li (right-most) and her classmates in St Luck’s Grammar School

Image: Dan Li: All Rights reserved

Huiying Li, the mother of a Chinese high school student Dan Li, sent her daughter to Australia when the girl was only 15 years old. “The earlier I sent her to study abroad, the earlier she can enter the mainstream of the society. Of course I am really upset to leave her in a totally new country, but I cannot let my personal emotion hinders her way of becoming mature.” Said Huiying Li.

Also, Chinese families are required to deposit ¥300,000 RMB (equivalent to $62079.92 AUD at the exchange rate on 3rd June, 2015) as guarantee to support their children financially in Australia before the visa rules are amended. In recent decades, however, with the rise of Chinese middle class families, the Australian government relaxed the rules to welcome more Chinese students. Hobsons, an organization that provide information and services that help students to select the right education and career options, says “applicants will also see reduced financial requirements and are now only required to show evidence of funds to support 12 months of study, as opposed to the former 18 months.”

Among the factors that attract Chinese students to study in Australia, the most direct one is the depreciation of Australian dollar. It has lost 25 per cent of value against the US dollar in two years. The chart below illustrates the exchange rate of AUD against CNY from 2013 to 2014. The general tendency from January 2013 to December 2014 saw a decline from 6.531294 to 5.099217, which indicates that more Chinese families can afford to support their children to study in Australia with lower cost of tuition fee and living expenditure.

Exchange rate of AUD against CNY from 2013 to 2014

Disappointed by the Chinese spoon-feeding style, which to some extend impairs students’ imagination and the ability to think and investigate independently, the well-arranged school curricula, safe study environment and the inspiring teaching approaches of Australian education are excellent reasons for Chinese students to further their studies.

1 005_副本

Grade 12 students having exam in Qingyuan Overseas Chinese Middle School in Qingyuan, Guangdong Province, China.

Image: Jiayi Hu : All Rights reserved

Spoon-feeding education style is the product derives from the fierce competition within the most populous country in the world. Students have no choice but to learn knowledge under the regulation of compulsory education system so as to pass the college entrance examination at the end of grade 12. Most Chinese people believe that the college diploma is the ticket to better jobs. This method seems effective to acquire knowledge within a short period, however, it leaves little time and space for students to gain insight into what they have learned, so most of them lack the ability to think independently.

“I don’t like to say bad words to my country, but I have to say that the Chinese examination education does have many disadvantages, especially for imposing too much pressures and destroying imagination of students to a certain extend. However, schools in Australia are of a great differences. Australian government carries out the quality-education, which gives students a lot more free time to find and develop their real characteristics. And I find that the study environment is very positive, and teachers are super humorous and very gentle.” Said Dan Li.

Lastly, it is easier for students to enter the Group of Eight than other good universities in other countries because Australian universities need fewer materials in application processes.

“Postgraduate students are the biggest group among the total applicants. I can see that most Australian universities are trying to streamline their application requirements such as reducing application materials and increasing working efficiency so that students can shorten their time to prepare materials and get more opportunities to enter elite universities.” Says Xue Lei.

Related video:

Chinese parents increasingly choosing Australian high school


Chinese corporations pay less than $12 an hour for international students in Sydney.

Vicky Li has to finish her assignments earlier and work for 7 hours the next day. Photo: Kai Zhang
Vicky Li has to finish her assignments earlier and work for 7 hours the next day. Photo: Kai Zhang

Chinese corporations normally pay less than $12 for international students, especially Chinese students who are desperate for jobs across Sydney.

Some of the corporations only give the students chances to work as so-called internship workers without any payment. And the students will not be guaranteed for future salaries.

The wage of most jobs listed in two Chinese websites tigtag.com and sydneytoday.com are displayed “negotiable”. After calling several companies’ numbers, the result shows most of the employers offer lower than $12 an hour. While the minimum legal wage in Australia is $16.87.

The underpayment of Australian restaurants and cafes was exposed as early as the year of 2013, when a major Fairfax Media investigation discovered that more than 40 restaurants were paying their employees $8 an hour.

The situation in Chinese work places is not better that not only the restaurants and cafes exploit international students. Many of the illegal corporations are agencies, convenient shops and even IT companies.

Chinese student Vicky Li majored in Information Technology has worked part-time in a small Chinese IT company, and was paid $8 an hour after one month’s no-payment work. She also has worked at a Chinese restaurant near her living place.

“It is very difficult to find an internship in a local IT company because of the language barrier. However, small Chinese IT companies will not offer you actual salary at most time.” Vicky said.

She revealed that the manager of the company is a friend of her aunt. Otherwise she will not get any payment. She knew other Chinese students or even Australian citizen who was originally from China working in this small company were paid nothing.

These companies are taking advantages of the international students, because of their needs for working experience. The employers want to run the firm without paying one dollar for the workers.

Another Chinese student has worked in an agency company helping people dealing with their visa and school applications. “The boss gave promise that if we finished three months’ internship, he will consider about paying us wages according to our performances.” He said. “But the boss will never be satisfied with your work, and now I have quit from it.”

I tried to approach the managers from those companies, but no reply was made. However, a Chinese international student revealed that the manager was talking about the high cost of rent and other infrastructures that he cannot offer more to a part-time worker.

Most of the Chinese students are working without contracts. They get the money either by cash or bank transfer without paying the tax. These students ignore the restriction of 40 work hours every fortnight, and are vulnerable to be deported back to China.

These students are called “black workers” translated from Chinese. “It’s a very common phenomenon in Chinese work places in Sydney.” Said by Gao, who is a Chinese student studying at UNSW and working in a restaurant near the university. “The boss told us that we should not worry about being punished by the government for overtime employment.”

“We don’t have choice to get higher payments, because every Chinese restaurant gives you such low wages. So I have to work longer.” Gao added and expressed her discontent about the situation.

According to the report by the Department of Education and Training of Australian Government, Chinese international students enrolled in Australian schools was the largest group among all the nationalities. The population rose up to 152,898 by the end of 2014. However, the work opportunities are not enough.

Stephanie Zhao told me that the restaurant she worked in had many backup part-time labors. “If you don’t want this job, others will replace you. The boss won’t care.” She said.

Stephanie had to work at free time and earn $10 an hour, despite the very heavy workload in university. “The life cost here in Sydney is very high, my wage for one week cannot even cover my room rent in the city.”

Australia is the most expensive destination for international students in the world.

“I was not born in a very rich family, only work and study at the same time can help to reduce my parents’ load.” Zhao felt helpless and upset.

Clifton Evers was an Australian teacher now working in a Chinese university. He previously taught the language course in Sydney and had known some worse situations. Many of his Chinese students were earning less than $8 an hour in 2010.

“I asked them why they didn’t try to work in a local company and many told me that they thought their English wasn’t good enough.” Evers said.

He encouraged his students to get out of the comfort zone and tried harder if they didn’t want to be exploited. Some of them did have breakthroughs.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is the department that is actually responsible for the working conditions in Australia. But the Ombudsman makes little difference every year regarding to the amount of complaints and inquiries. In 2012, the number of complaints reached 52,000. $1.1 million wages were clawed back last year for about 700 visa holders.

The foreign workers were often not fully aware of their rights under Australian laws in workplace. “Youth, language and cultural barriers” could be the reasons that made them vulnerable to be exploited.

“We are foreign students, and we have no idea of our rights. What we can do is to be stronger.” Said by Vicky.