No, it’s not selfish everyday Aussie mums and dads stripping the shelves bare – or at least it wasn’t in the beginning. Now that the media has ensured panic has set in, ordinary folks are trying to get as much as they can and screw everyone else – like the elderly lady on her fortnightly grocery shopping expedition forced to buy paper towels because there was not a single roll of toilet paper available.
So why is Australia running out of toilet paper?
It’s because there are organised groups of Chinese shoppers called “daigou” who purchase Australian products from Australian stores and export them to China en masse.
In 2018 there were an estimated 400,000 daigou operating in Australia concentrating mostly on baby formula, vitamin supplements and beauty products. They hunt in packs and when they were last in the news it was due to them raping and pillaging Australian stores of baby formula to such an extent that Australian mothers could not purchase any.
This time around it’s worse. The daigou workforce has easily tripled since the coronavirus threat has seen Chinese manufacturing remain on stand down. Most factories haven’t restarted production since shutting down for the Chinese New Year break in late January. Basic products such as toilet paper and even rice to a certain degree are all but unavailable in China at the moment unless purchased on the black market, which is where the daigou come in to it.
Here’s how they operated BEFORE the coronavirus threat –
Packs of daigou hunting through supermarkets, stripping shelves bare (of baby formula in the video above) and lately stripping Australian shelves of toilet paper, pasta, hand sanitiser, paracetemol, baby formula (still) and other items which are hard to find in China.
This will continue unabated and I can guarantee that Australia is not the only Asia-Pacific country having its domestic supply chain raped and pillaged by packs of Chinese opportunists feeding the Chinese black market.
Soon it will be ANY non-perishable food item they can send home to China in a container.
Interesting times ahead.
Disclaimer: This is a guest post and it doesn’t represent the views of IWB.