Read this: Dad’s Mandarin lessons rubbed off! The daughter of former prime minister Kevin Rudd has become a popular Chinese mummy blogger and baby formula businesswoman. Jessica Rudd, a lawyer, author and former columnist for CLEO magazine, sells shiploads of organic products to China, where she used to live. Her export company Jessica’s Suitcase hawks paw paw ointment, coconut oil, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, baby toys and goat’s milk crochet blouse baby video lessons formula on a top Chinese website.
I know what it’s like to be a mum in China,’ Ms Rudd said in a smiling promotional video spoken in both English and Chinese. I lived there for five years, my little girl is three. And I was worried when I looked outside at the pollution. Rubbing shoulders: The businesswoman is seen with Jack Ma, the founder of Chinese retail behemoth Alibaba. The country’s former ‘first daughter’ is using Chinese social media – such as the website Weibo and a ‘mummy blog’ on major online retailer JD. The enterprise apparently sells thousands of tubes of paw paw ointment each month as well as organic infant formula and tampons.
100,000 in sales in its first month alone, according to The Australian Financial Review. CT Johnson, managing director of Cross Border Management, said many organic companies have turned to China because of the popularity of Australian pharmaceutical and healthcare products. Australia has a very clean, green and high quality reputation when it comes to these kinds of goods,’ Mr Johnson said. China itself has a very bad reputation around producing those things.
They’ve had a number of scandals’, including the 2008 baby formula contamination crisis where six babies died. Ms Rudd lived in Beijing with her husband Albert Tse from 2009 to 2014, and the couple had a baby, Josie, during that time. She launched the business in mid-2015 with the support of Mr Rudd, who cheered the company’s arrival to his considerable Weibo following of 600,000 people. In the few interviews she has conducted about the business, Ms Rudd has spoken of how she grew up with Chinese culture in her life – her father being the first Australian leader to speak Mandarin. Ms Rudd apparently had the idea when she noticed how her Chinese friends were always interested in the products she brought home with her from Australia. And with the advice of her entrepreneurial mother, Igneus founder and millionaire Therese Rein, she runs the business from home.
Daigou’ is a Chinese word for unofficial networks of shoppers who buy products in bulk overseas to sell to family and friends back home. There is huge demand for daigou products in China particularly in food, healthcare and pharmaceuticals following health scares. Six Chinese children died and 300,000 fell ill in 2008 after consuming contaminated baby formula. CT Johnson, managing director of Cross Border Management, said: ‘If you’re a parent or if you have a small child in China you as a Chinese person are really on the look out for sources to find clean high quality safe food drug and healthcare.
It has become an opportunity for Australian producers. What’s really interesting about the Jessica Rudd story is that 99. 9 per cent of those people, 99 per cent of the daigous are Chinese. So it’s very interesting that a non-Chinese person, the daughter of a former prime minister, has essentially become a high-level daigou’. The arrival records for tens of thousands of immigrants from the Windrush generation have been found in the National Archives. Developers are building a utopian eco-village where residents will grow their own food and work from home.
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