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  • Author: Lola Wilhelm, Oenone Kubie, Christopher McKenna
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Case Study
  • Institution: Oxford Centre for Global History
  • Abstract: The demand for infant formula in Australia is insatiable. Bare shelves have led supermarkets and chemists to ration sales, limiting the quantity customers can buy in a single transaction. But it’s not Australian parents fuelling the formula shortages. A high proportion, between fifty and ninety percent, of all Australian infant formula is exported to China. The situation has created tensions between the two countries. Australian shoppers complain of Chinese daigou (personal shoppers) buying formula before it is even stacked on shelves and stripping supermarkets in teams of people. In April 2019, eight people were arrested in Australia for stealing over a million dollars of infant formula in Sydney to sell in China. Two months later, Chinese military personnel were photographed loading boxes of formula onto a Chinese warship before departing Sydney Harbour.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, History, Capitalism, Multinational Corporations
  • Political Geography: China, Australia, Global Focus