皇家88平台 1



An army of Chineseshoppers dictates the fate of Australian brands

army of)

皇家88平台 2

How firms Down Undercame toembrace daigou

(embrace 用法)

THE first daigou, meaning someone who makes purchases on another’s
behalf, were Chinese students studying abroad, whohauleddesirable
products home on behalf of family and friends. Adding a commission
helped them pay their tuition fees. The spread of social-networking apps
such as WeChat, China’s most popular, brought the business online.
Daigou could then offer their services to friends of friends, and
promote items they thought might appeal to their network. But whereas
daigou in America and Europeprocure mainly luxury goods for their
customers—a function of high Chinese tariffs—in Australia they buy
mainly vitamins, food and beauty products.And whereas luxury brands see
daigou as a menace, undercutting sales in China, Australian firms have
come to embrace them.

(haul:to pull or drag something with effort


There are perhaps 50,000 daigou, stalking the aisles of Australian shops
and periodically stripping them bare.The small fry alone post 60,000
parcels to China every day. The biggest have grown into organised export
businesses which funnel goods through China’s free-trade zones. Express
delivery services to China haveproliferated, and some 1,500 stores in
Australiacater mainly to daigou. One such chain, AuMake, recently listed
on the Australian Securities Exchange. Its bilingual sales staff can
arrange for a purchase to be posted to China as soon as it has been rung


stalking 和 stripping 这里用的超级妙,学起来

proliferate: to increase in nummber or amount quickly

cater to:  这个用法记起来)

The appeal for the customers is simple: the products daigou post are
guaranteed to be genuine. After Chinese firms were found to have been
selling contaminated milk powder in 2008, many anxious Chinese parents
turned to foreign brands.But websites peddling foreign goods are riddled
with counterfeits, while Chinese shops charge a fortune for the real

(peddle:to sell something usually in small amounts and often by
travelling to different places

riddle: to fill with something that is bad or unpleasant)

The odd sales channel works for companies, too. Daigou allow young
Australian firms to build their brands in China much more cheaply and
easily than if they tried to market their products directly, argues
Keong Chan, the chairman of AuMake. A firm called the a2 Milk Company
doubled its profit in the year to June thanks tosoaring Chinese demand.
Daigou account for more of those sales than Chinese retailers or
e-commerce sites, according to Peter Nathan, who heads its Asia-Pacific
unit. Businesses fall over themselves to win the favour of the most
influential daigou, offering discounts and Chinese marketing materials.
“It’s like having a 50,000-strong sales force,” says Andrew Cohen, chief
executive of Bellamy’s, a listed manufacturer of infant formula.


Bellamy’s learned the hard way. It used to worry aboutentrustingso
important a market tosquads of anonymous intermediaries. Daigou had
earned a bad press in Australiaforcreating shortages of certain goods
andforfailing to pay tax on their commissions. Worse, the Chinese
authorities began talking last year about demanding import duties on
personal packages, a move that the firm feared might undermine sales
through daigou.

entrust: to give someone the responsibility of doing something or of
caring for someone or something

squad: a group of people who are involved in a particular activity

So Bellamy’s decided to funnel its wares to Chinese retailers and
e-tailers, who in turn offered big discounts to customers, undercutting
the daigou.This approach backfired completely, as daigou abandoned
Bellamy’s products.Salesplunged. The firm’s share price collapsed;heads
rolled. Bellamy’s recently cut back sales to other distributors,
restoring daigou to prime position once again.

(plunge: to fall or drop suddenly in amount,value etc.  =plummet


皇家88平台 3



Asians are known the world over as being “good at math.” This is a
stereotype perpetuated by popular culture in the West. But is there some
truth to it? Yes, as it turns out. I can say that in daily life, Chinese
people do more math than their American counterparts. In fact, one can
even say daily life in China is an ongoing math test. Right off the top
of my head, I can think of three examples, starting with shopping in
China’s capital.

Dave Schoch has one of the toughest jobs at Ford Motor Co.: catching the
competition in the world’s biggest car market.


When Schoch arrived in China 13 years ago, the government was building
eight-lane freeways in major cities, but bicyclists and pedestrians
still filled the streets. The Chinese were buying fewer than 2 million
cars and trucks each year, a fraction of the 14.4 million sold in 2000
in the U.S.

When you walk into any department store in Beijing, chances are there is
a sale going on. You will see signs with a single digit number and the
Chinese character zhe prominently displayed next to products that are on
sale. Experienced shoppers can jump to the conclusion that 7 zhe must
mean 70% discount. Alas, the Chinese system encourages shoppers to go
one extra step in calculating their discount: i.e., 7 zhe means you pay
70 percent, resulting in a 30 percent discount. Some adults in the West
couldn’t do this simple math in their heads. Because, why would you need
to? We left all that behind in elementary school.

When he returned to China last year, Schoch was stunned. The freeways
were choked with cars, from inexpensive, Chinese-made Wuling minivans to
Mercedes-Benz sedans. The red-hot Chinese economy had more than doubled
annual wages, giving millions of people the money to buy a first vehicle
or move up to a luxury brand.


“Things turned upside-down,” says Schoch, who was named head of Ford’s
Asia Pacific operations in the fall. “You have to be here and experience
it to believe what has happened in the last decade.”

Another example is the loyalty card, or membership card, offered by
retailers, dentists, hair salons and massage parlors, just to name a
few. But signing up requires you to do math quickly in your head. The
more you spend up front, the bigger the discounts, a not uncommon sales
strategy. But commit at your own risk. If that business suddenly decides
to close its doors, you will not be refunded, nor will you even be

Last year, Chinese consumers bought 19 million cars and trucks — 5
million more than consumers in the U.S. Ford’s share of those sales was
just 3 percent. Years of corporate chaos and financial trouble slowed
Ford’s entry into China as its rivals gained a foothold. Together,
General Motors and Volkswagen control a third of China’s market.