China Craves Foreign Goods. Students in Australia Supply Them.

The students, who call themselves daigou, or purchasing agents, are highly attuned to Chinese tastes and move quickly, sometimes creating spikes in demand in Australia and clearing out stores of specific products before shopkeepers know what hit them. Some analysts estimate that daigou sent as much as $600 million in Australian products to China last year.

But their success has also drawn scrutiny, with officials in both China and Australia examining whether they are paying required taxes and complying with other regulations.

The business is in many ways a byproduct of China’s huge interest in a different kind of Australian product: international education, considered one of the nation’s top exports, worth $15 billion a year. Nearly a…

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