Relations and Business Between China and Australia with Asha Forsyth

Michael MicheliniCulture (Lifestyle), Lifestyle, Podcast0 Comments

Our guest for today is Asha Forsyth, a China-Australia trade and diplomacy specialist with a decade working with and studying in China. We are talking about relationships and business deals between Australia and China and some lessons learned. It’s some interesting stuff in today’s show. So, let’s tune in.

Topics Covered in this Episode

  • Intro Asha

    Sino-Australia Trade and Diplomacy expert and Former AusCham General Manager.

  • Common Trade Agreements between Australia and China

    What are some common products, services, and business relations between these 2 countries?

  • Products is 1 - but education and real estate is another big one

    While many think of the products of import/export – there is also the “student” and “investor” immigration and trade. Many Chinese go to Australia to buy real estate and get their education, right?

  • Experience of the evolution between China and Australia in the past year

    There has been a lot of news about the evolution of the trade relations between Australia and China. Can you share some insights?

  • Examples of Deals Going Sour

    What are some of the previous great business trades that are freezing up now.

  • Examples of how Chinese businesses in Australia are adjusting

    What are Chinese companies there doing?

  • Same for Australia companies in China

    How is that adjustment going?

  • With Challenge Comes Opportunity

    Any time of change breeds new opportunities, what do you see in the current climate?

  • What do you see in the next 5 - 10 years for these relations

    Looking in your crystal ball, what do you foresee.

  • How people can reach out to you

    What are some ways people can find you online?

  • Now for the GFAVIP networking session for those online


People / Companies / Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Asha’s VIP Page
GFAVIP Mastermind
√ Visit our GFA partner – Mercury – for US banking solutons for your ecommerce businesss

Episode Length 40:24

Thank you Asha, we all need to brush up our relations knowledge with all these countries and I appreciate you sharing with us. It’s been really, really fascinating. I’m excited about your book coming out and we will try to update our show notes once it does.

We’re kicking off 2021. We’re relaunching our mastermind which did a couple of years ago. We made some great relationships in the community, great business and personal relationships with people. Check it out at

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Show Transcript


[00:00:00] 337 of Global from Asia podcast, Relationships and Business deals between Australia and China and some lessons learned. It’s some interesting stuff in today’s show. So, tune in. Welcome to the Global from Asia podcast where the daunting process of running an international business is broken down into straight up actionable advice.

[00:00:22] And now your host, Michael Michelini. Thank you everybody for choosing to download our audio or stream or watch or whatever, you know, it’s all over the place here. We’re on all the channels we can be on in China and overseas. Hopefully the show stays online in China. We are talking about some relationships.

[00:00:41] and business of governments, you know. Honestly, there are huge groups that, you know, I am not too much involved with, but I thought it might be a good discussion to have today because it’s hard to almost avoid. And what we need to learn as business owners, as cross border traders is we are somewhat reliant or, you know, we are involved with what governments relationships happen.

[00:01:06] And we talk about that today. We have a great guest with us Asha from, she worked in the MTM, AusCham, excuse me. I’m thinking of American as an American. AusCham, Australian Chamber of Commerce in Guangzhou. And, she’s back in Australia now, right before COVID happened. And we, we discussed, you know, we’re here, end of 2020, honestly, the show was recorded almost a couple weeks ago.

[00:01:27] We live streamed it. But even since then, she’s like, Oh, things have really heated up even more since we last recorded. I still think there’s so much to learn from this. I hope this can help you out when you get some, you know, some crazy stories about stuff getting left in ports and docks in different parts of the world.

[00:01:45] Let’s let’s tune it. We’re starting a new Amazon brand. We registered a whole new company, US company, and we’re using what we, what we promote, It’s a new online banking solution for e-commerce businesses. We made a deal with them, they’re supporting the show. If you enjoy the show, check them out, totally free to apply.

[00:02:04] They really want to help more e-commerce traders and get business going. We also have a cash bonus for you, and we get a little bit of that too. So it was a win-win at You’ll be given a full tutorial. I have my process, I went through it, gave some tips in the application process as well.

[00:02:23] And if you apply through that link, you will get a couple of different choices for some cash bonuses. So enjoy that as well. And thank you mercury. Thank you everybody for tuning into Global from Asia. I don’t know, live stream, video podcasts, audio podcasts, we’re still adjusting and upgrading with the lockdowns and the lack of in-person events.

[00:02:41] We’re trying to do these online events and I’m really excited to bring in today’s guest Asha Forsyth. She is a China-Australia trade and diplomacy specialist with a decade working with and studying in China. Her roles as general manager at the Australian Chamber of commerce in South China and the Foreign Affairs manager at Kingold group.

[00:03:04] And you’ve worked with a lot of cross-cultural relations and understandings you’ve even worked with Ban Ki-moon and President Xi Jinping, which is really amazing. And you’re fluent in Chinese and English, with your childhood and Taiwan and study languages and political science in University of Sydney and Shanghai’s Fudan University.

[00:03:22] So it’s really amazing to have you on today to share about these important relations in today’s new world. Thank you. I plan to do a bit of an intro, but you’ve out me in your intro though. That’s okay. So just as you mentioned, I’ve kind of had an early interest in China and Asia relations through growing up in Taiwan and then kind of.

[00:03:50] Further that on at university by studying language, Mandarin, and also political science. And from then, I’ve kind of hopped from workplace to workplace specializing in basically helping other companies overseas understand China. And one of the main places that I did that was that I AusCham, which is the Australian chamber of commerce, which is basically just a non-for-profit NGO set up to help.

[00:04:16] People understand and navigate China to do better business. Yeah. Okay, great. Yeah. I mean, it’s very important role and a very important, you know, association, community to really bridge, you know, bridge these, these countries. And there’s many chambers that do these things and especially in today’s world, literally somebody was just talking about Australia, China relations to me yesterday and I was like, well, what are you talking about today?

[00:04:45] And, yeah, you know, it’s difficult, you know, it’s obviously it’s difficult times, right? I mean, what are some of the common products? You know, I think Australia and China have always had, at least from my understanding over the years, I’m, I’m an, I, you know, I think, you know, I’m an American, I don’t really understand always these other cultures so well, but maybe just give us an idea of these.

[00:05:07] What are common trade deals or trade relationships between Australia and China. Well, I think Australia is kind of unique when it comes to all the Western economies or Western trade economies in that it is geographically in Asia, essentially. So that’s why China has historically always been a really important trade partner for Australia.

[00:05:32] And in terms of the like product, common products or services or investments between Australia and China, that was really solidified actually recently in 2015 with the China-Australia free trade agreement. So prior to that, Australia didn’t have an agreement like that with China and obviously being such an important trade partner, there was a lot of background work.

[00:05:55] That led up to that agreement in 2015. And basically what that agreement did, was it insured, reduced tariffs, so duty free for about 85% of Australian goods going into China. And then over the next four to five years leading up to about, I think it was 95 to 98% of Australian goods. So those in terms of the actual products.

[00:06:20] Basically the general pattern is that Australia is known for its high quality ingredients and high quality produce. And with the rising Chinese middle class, they’re opting for products like high quality, Australian beef, wine, even cosmetics, and kind of healthcare and vitamins. In terms of like investments or services,

[00:06:46] Obviously you’ve got, education is a huge one where we’ve got a lot of Australia, a lot of Chinese students coming over to Australia for education and then tourism, as well is interlinked with that. So I think that it’s an all-encompassing trade relationship. A lot of it is based on physical products, including also natural resources.

[00:07:09] China is one of Australia’s largest importers of natural resources. And Australia is a very resource-rich country. So we export things like uranium, iron ore, coal, gold, et cetera and then outside of that, you’ve got all the projects as well. Wow. Yeah. Yeah. That’s that’s really a great overview. I mean, it was kind of leading to the next point is education.

[00:07:34] I, I, at least for me, I, of course Australia, I think of mining, you know, I I’ve think you have to go, I really want to make it to Australia. Have you had to go? There’s been a couple of close chances, but I haven’t been myself, but I mean, I always hear about mining and yeah, like you mentioned natural resources and the education or the top.

[00:07:52] Two, in my mind, from what I’ve, you know, just in casual conversations and business encounters. So, so, I guess let’s just, I dunno, I mean, it’s dangerous. I don’t get so political. I don’t know how political you want to get, but of course there’s been some testing of these relationships, you know, in this pandemic.

[00:08:12] I don’t know, you know, what’s your, your experience, what you’ve noticed the past year or so, like you, you have, you just relocated to Sydney just before the pandemic, you know, just by chance, right. It was nothing connected to knowing it. And you know, what have you, you know, what would you say is the evolution of this relationship maybe in, you know, in this COVID, post-COVID world or this new world?

[00:08:39] Well, I think that with the current tensions, it’s important to kind of look at the background of how they’ve evolved and my understanding kind of like a brief high level blow by blow of how basically Australia and China’s relationship has kind of degraded a little bit over the last year. It’s largely been because of COVID.

[00:09:03] So Don just run through a brief overview of like, kind of what happened in terms of the relation, from my perspective. And then I can turn a bit of the inside of like, where I think it’s going, how that’s affected business on both sides. So, with the relationship, basically from my understanding, is it all started off with an Australian foreign minister Marise Payne who on an Australian show basically indicated that

[00:09:34] There needed to be an independent inquiry into China’s handling of COVID that was independent of the World Health organization. Basically saying that Australia would be happy to speak, head that independent inquiry and that China needed to be transparent. And I think, from my perspective, a bunch of other Australian politicians, including the trade minister and the prime minister kind of jumped on board being like, yes, we need to have this independent inquiry.

[00:10:03] And it, it wasn’t very nuanced. It was kind of, perceived as quite aggressive and led to the Chinese ambassador to Australia, basically saying, you know, if, if this is the way it’s going to be, you know, Chinese consumers might boycott Australian goods and this,I think wasn’t perceived as real

[00:10:27] It was just saying as maybe a bluff and then all of a sudden 80% tariffs or whacked on Australian barley and all of a sudden there was a bunch of Australian farmers going, wait a second, this is real. Now, you know, this wasn’t just a little spot that had no consequences. Now, a lot of Australian farmers, you know, at the mercy of these tariffs, and also about four abattoirs.

[00:10:54] So big Australian meat producers were blacklisted and this all happened under the pretense of an inquiry into anti dumping. But basically it was perceived by Australia as a retaliation. How has that affected Australian businesses? Well, like the initial sectors that have come under fire, or obviously in barley, beef, cotton, a lot of agricultural exports and as well as wine.

[00:11:28] But in the industries that we talked about a bit before that aren’t physical exports, like tourism and education, there has been comments by Chinese ministers basically saying that they discourage Chinese tourists and students to go to Australia for fear of racist, harassment, and attacks, because there were instances in Australia where Chinese people wearing masks were physically and verbally abused on the onset of COVID, which is terrible, but that was kind of used as a justification to

[00:12:06] discourage Chinese people from going to Australia for tourist or education purposes. So a lot of sectors have been affected by these tensions and you know, different parties have been waiting on kind of what should happen next and a large consensus, which I tend to agree with. My opinion is that I think that the rhetoric was a little aggressive.

[00:12:35] Anybody who’s dealt with China just on a day to day level in business or learnt about Chinese culture and Chinese business culture knows that there’s, you know, a lot of culture around saving face and how you do the public, how you do things in the private. And I think that, you know, these things don’t disappear when you’re moving from the individual level to a political level.

[00:13:03] It’s clear that these cultural tendencies still exist. And I think it’s important for politicians in Australia and elsewhere in the world to kind of acknowledge that and work with that. So I would suggest my kind of view for where things could be heading hopefully is that the rhetoric of like SPI heading an independent inquiry into China in a very aggressive way has kind of changed so that it’s more nuanced and is more about collaborating.

[00:13:35] Yeah. Yeah, no, I would agree. I mean, while we are talking chorus about China and Australia, I think the rest of the world can learn, you know, trying to be politically correct, but you just gotta be sensitive. Right? I think China is, like you said, it’s about the face. You don’t want to be too direct. You don’t want to be public.

[00:13:55] Like I’m just kind of re re almost rephrasing what you just said, but a lot of these other governments, you know, of course we have with the Trump, Trump administration is very direct and you know, blunt which doesn’t work in China business, you know, anybody has even read a China business book. I think that’s kind of like one of the first chapters, this face and kind of this whole indirect newness of.

[00:14:18] Communication and, and a lot of the Western or the foreign non-Asian, not really Asian, but a lot of the other governments and people are more direct right. It’s, you know, I, I, I have Australian friends and they are usually a very direct kind of people, right. They just tell you how they feel.

[00:14:38] They, you know, that’s just a way more of a Western kind of mindset. Is I just, I don’t want to cover it up. I don’t want to like coat it and directly tell you I have a problem. And I tell you, this is what I think, you know, we should do, you know, but it doesn’t, as we believe in it, if you have many experience in China, I’ve, I’ve been here too.

[00:14:57] So we know you, you kind of have can’t you gotta be a little bit. What would you say, like delicate, almost, or strategic about how you deliver. You’re a strategic and definitely, it’s, I’m not advocating for, you know, individuals or politicians or governments to not say anything about things that they disagree with.

[00:15:23] Obviously, there are a lot of ideological differences between Australia and China, for example, in the realm of human rights you know, with the stuff that’s happening in Hong Kong, you know, the militarization of the South China sea, as well as what’s happening with the weaker minorities. And Xinjiang there.

[00:15:41] Those are all that I guess Western democracies are allowed to take issue with. Those are not things that I’m advocating that Western democracies like Australia just have to kind of sit there and go, Oh, we just won’t say anything because we want a good trade relationship with China. But that being said, I think that, you know, there needs to be an acknowledgement that.

[00:16:06] Things need to be brought up in particular ways that are sensitive and I think likewise on the Chinese side, you know, there shouldn’t be an expectation that everybody’s going to just go, yes, everything you’re doing, we completely agree with. There should be a kind of understanding or a, or balance that, you know, Governments with different ideological standpoints are going to have disagreements about certain issues and that’s okay.

[00:16:31] But I think that the way that the trade tensions between Australia and China came about was a bit of, I guess it wasn’t handled very well in terms of like how it was projected and the perceived aggression. So I think that those views could have been made, but a bit more nuanced and maybe we wouldn’t be in the situation that we’re in now.

[00:16:56] Yeah, I would agree. I, I do want to bring up a point, I don’t know if you were to, how you feel about it, but I almost feel like this whole lockdown is, you know, like we’re doing this interview on, on online, you know, everything is going online, which of course it’s nice. You know, to see each other, but I’m sure that the communication between these governments are not as smooth either.

[00:17:14] They’re trying to, they probably used to do more face to face. You know, obviously I have a feeling that that might also be affecting, you know, all these global relationships, you know, they’re not able to, to drink tea, you know, or have, you know, a meal or a casual sit-down or even governments are having these issues of communicating online or not having as much face-to-face.

[00:17:37] Yeah. Yeah. So I think that also probably, also brings more challenges to the way communication happens. I definitely tend to agree. I think that, you know, with a lot of things moving online and face-to-face interaction obviously decreasing a lot in the past year, you know, you can have events like this, where you can get to know each other, you can discuss a topic.

[00:18:05] There is something to be said about the, I guess, genuine connection that you can get through face-to-face interactions. You know, you can read body language more. You can, there are a lot of small parts of kind of relationships that can be built face-to-face. And I think in the absence of that, you know, there’s only so much that you can do.

[00:18:29] And so with regards to the tensions between Australia and China, like kind of at their peak, the trade minister was picking up the phone, trying to call, you know, China, he’s trying to counterparts and they just simply weren’t answering, aren’t. And so I think that, you know, in this day and age, where we are relying so heavily on non face-to-face contact.

[00:18:51] It is, there are, there is a larger barrier to those very kind of balanced political relations that need to be had. And I think it does put a lot of tension on that. Yeah. I mean, you know, just also just, just to put some more easy perspective for others, but obviously it’s a relationship, just like a romantic relationship or a business relationship.

[00:19:15] You know, if you don’t meet your business partner, your spouse, your significant other. Obviously, even when I talked to my team online, like, and they misunderstand what I say, or at least I feel like they might misunderstand the words that I’m typing, because words, it’s not just words, it’s verbal, it’s it’s, even video is, you know, it’s not the same as actually that physical feeling of.

[00:19:39] Being across the table or with somebody else. So I, like you said, they don’t answer the phone, then you get upset, then you think maybe they were just really not available, but then you’re like, Oh, are they mad at me that I say, I didn’t, all those misunderstandings happen, you know? And then it’s probably also I have a feeling also affecting these government relations for sure.

[00:20:01] As well as personal relations, business relations. Yeah. I mean, I’m looking at my list here. We, you know, you did a great job with, to your overview, you know, I don’t, I always wonder, I don’t know how, if we can go into some specific examples or deals, you know, that positively or negatively that you might notice, in, in this.

[00:20:23] And how they’re, I mean, you did mention some of these, farmers and, and meat companies. I don’t know. I dunno if we want to talk about some specific examples or maybe we just remove the names, but, I would, you know, just trying to think, what can people do now? You know, I guess nobody still knows, you know, it’s almost 2021 now, I guess we’re gonna, it seems like it’s gonna be a little bit longer lockdown.

[00:20:46] It keeps extending, but I think travel won’t be opening up still. Well, I’m definitely happy to give some examples. I want to use company names, but, some of the, I guess, deals or Companies that have come under the crossfire of not only the tensions between Australia and China, but also of just COVID in general.

[00:21:12] So like with regards to the tensions, something that was, you know, circulating the news when those tariffs were implemented straight away was that we had a lot of Australian companies, specifically in seafood and agri produce. So actually it was a shipment of lobsters and also shipment of cherries that were just sitting on the dock and left to die and decay because they had been sent obviously before.

[00:21:46] These laws are put in place, or, you know, when, when laws does, law does trickle down in China, from Beijing sometimes. And I know this from experience working at the chamber, you wouldn’t hear about it until, you know, maybe even, maybe, you know, two to three days later, but that’s a long time if you’re sending, you know, millions of dollars worth of produce across the water.

[00:22:08] So what happened was you had these Australian producers of lobsters and cherries sent this stuff over. Then obviously the law came into place, which was anti dumping. And then as a result, their Chinese counterparts, who would have previously come to pick up the shipment and distribute it along their supply chain

[00:22:30] didn’t. So the shipments were there rotting on the port and obviously the suppliers in Australia lost millions of dollars. So that’s kind of an example of where businesses have come in the crossfire of the tensions. Yeah, and it just like, it just showcases, I think for a lot of businesses that the diplomatic relations have obviously significant consequences for the business community.

[00:23:04] And so it’s led to like lobbyists that a farm is basically saying Australia and China, can you work it out because a lot of businesses on now, seeing, sending stuff to China as too high risk, they don’t want to send their shipment across and then have it be stuck at the port. So a lot of businesses are pulling back until they feel comfortable and confident that

[00:23:32] There’s going to be, I guess, a dissipation of attention such that Chinese counterparts will be picking up their produce and distributing it along the supply line. So that’s kind of some tangible examples of how the trade tensions are affecting Australian businesses. 

[00:24:00] Yeah, it’s funny because I would say it’s funny because I think that like, if you’re not in those tangible industries with tangible products that you’re literally packing up, putting it into a container, shipping it off and somebody else is picking it up and putting it in a store, you tend to forget that.

[00:24:22] There’s obviously large quantities of Australian goods moving off the coast and into the sea to be delivered to China. And that, you know, if you time, if in this case, these people timed their export wrong because of the tensions that just, that stuff can just be sitting there and it isn’t used, it seems, it seems like a huge waste to me.

[00:24:47] Yeah. It’s unfortunate. I mean, those are obviously salivary, exotic, expensive, valuable, you know, Just these boxes of cherries and lobster sitting on a port in China and right now, but it’s also, you know, we had the US-China trade war, I guess it’s still continuing, but, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s true.

[00:25:06] It’s like all of us were, you know, a lot of, you know, the people in the community listeners or are these business owners that were stuck, like you said, we’re the ones that are taking this brunt because you know, some Australian Government person says something on TV and in some Chinese business government guy lost face.

[00:25:22] And then we’re, we’re just trying to do business. We’re just trying to sell our lobsters and sell our charities. Yeah, exactly. Yeah.

[00:25:36] Yes. Other examples, just outside of the specific diplomatic tensions, I think other examples of like deals going sour or kind of business not working out between Australia and China, I experienced a lot in, in the support role. So obviously AusCham, as I mentioned, is set up to support businesses, to understand and navigate the Chinese business landscape.

[00:26:04] And we, you know, for example, we had an Australian cosmetic company contact us and say, you know, we believe we’ve been scammed. Because an agent, actually an Australian agent. So it was Australian and Australian, an Australian agent had promised to set up social media in China, organize a lot of marketing events and had charged an exorbitant amount of money for that.

[00:26:33] And then had it deleted. And I think that kind of just stepping away from the political tension subject and just going to general Australia-China relations. I think something that affects those businesses or that business relationship is a lack of understanding. There’s such a high barrier when it comes to China in terms of the culture and the language.

[00:26:54] And so as a result, you’ve got a lot of Australian businesses like SME, small to medium that want to enter the China market because the numbers are so promising. Everybody wants to sell to the Chinese market, but they don’t have the in-house skills to develop China marketing, even just to do the paperwork, to actually be able to operate in China.

[00:27:19] And so you have these agents that obviously help businesses set up, set themselves up, which is a great service, but there’s so many of them and it’s really hard for Australian companies to vet these agents. And so you have horror stories like the one I said where they’ve paid a lot of money for a Wechat account, which you and I would know doesn’t cost any money apparently.

[00:27:44] And it’s very, very easy to up and yeah and obviously there’s a huge breakdown in communication in terms of how to do business in China that a lot of Australian businesses smash, especially on the small side, kind of falling full. So I don’t work for AusCham anymore, but I do always like to do a plug that like, Oh, it was AusCham.

[00:28:11] You know, they’re there to vet those agents. They’re there to verify the fact that these are legitimate agents that can help set you up because I think it’s really easy for people to go, Oh, we don’t know. Let’s just go with that guy. And then, you know, they lose millions of dollars down the drain for nothing.

[00:28:30] Yeah, no, I agree. I mean, yeah, thanks for plugging AusCham. I mean, I’m obviously not so sure, but, yeah I mean, so these, these groups are very, you know, they’re on the ground. They have people there they’re nonprofits, their task, their task, their job, you know, is to, to help, help, find the right partners for Australia or any country, any chamber of commerce.

[00:28:51] That’s what their, their, their main hobbies. So people hopefully and we can use that service or utilize that, that help that they’re there for. Yeah, because it is daunting, right? China business is, you know, there’s huge numbers, but then obviously there’s this huge gap. It’s a huge, huge change that a business has to do.

[00:29:12] Yeah. Okay. I got a question from one person in the community, Zack Franklin, our regular from He does amazing things for the community as obviously he’s more in the Amazon space. So he’s of course curious about Amazon Australia. I know it might not be your exact Niche, but it’s, you know, how has that been going?

[00:29:35] Is that, you know, I’m sure there’s lots of probably Chinese sellers on there maybe or others foreign sellers. I mean, how does, you know, maybe just as a consumer or, you know, your own ideas, I’m sure people everybody’s always interested about Amazon here. Yeah, I, I can definitely shed some insight on that.

[00:29:53] As you mentioned, the Australia market here is not so much my expertise. I focus on Australian companies going over to China, but, you know, as a person living in Australia, I do use e-commerce platforms like Amazon and eBay. And I would say that, um, something that I’ve noticed funnily enough, yeah, I was involved kind of at an arms length with some people importing PPE, so personal protective equipment from China into Australia and distributing them via e-commerce platforms.

[00:30:31] And what I noticed is that the Chinese sellers, this is just my kind of overview, I guess, as a consumer is that the Chinese resellers, obviously can get really low prices from China and then bring the stuff over using drop ship and put it on at a very, very competitive price that I saw on, you know, forums and just chatting to a few people.

[00:31:00] The Australian kind of counterpart. So the Australian market can’t really compete. So there’s that tension there. That’s sort of E-bay and I think on Amazon as well, that being said, Amazon isn’t as developed in Australia as America, of course, because Amazon’s from America. So. There’s just for using it

[00:31:23] there. Actually, E-bay, it is more developed here, which is funny because I think that’s kind of saying as like a Craigslist runoff over in America. So it’s funny how products kind of like rise to the front in different countries. So what I’ve noticed with Amazon is like, yeah, the, the products are a little bit more limited compared to eBay, but both platforms are.

[00:31:46] The, the competitive pricing is coming from Chinese resellers, that make the local market, I’m finding it a little bit difficult to compete. Got it. And which is similar globally. I would say, even in the US Amazon, they opened it up more to international sellers. It got definitely more, more competitive by me, even eBay, eBay days, early eBay days.

[00:32:10] I think it started like 2004, 2005. And, but thanks for the insight Asha. So I think we’re going to switch to the networking more with, we have a small, but good group of people here. Chris Davies is here from FDA for you and Zack. So we’ll, we’ll probably flip off the live in, in a few minutes, but I do want us to, you know, I know maybe you could share what you’re up to.

[00:32:34] You know, how, if people, you know, you, like you said, you specialize more in Australia to pour into China. Maybe you could share what you’re working on or how people could learn. Yeah, I’d love to. So, as I mentioned, I was working in Guangzhou as the general manager of the Australian chamber of commerce.

[00:32:54] And in the last year have relocated back to Sydney. Basically just for a change, or saying, I wanted to be closer to my family. But I also wanted to do boots on the ground work in Australia, because that’s something that, you know, is equally as important as, you know, educating and facilitating those good relationships here before people go over and, you know, make big business mistakes.

[00:33:20] So at the moment when COVID hit, I actually took advantage of the lockdown and I have co-written a book. It’s it’s yet to be published. It’s in the process. Um, yeah, so. Thank you. It’s um, it’s not, it’s a little bit different. It’s basically on Chinese tech, and how it’s vastly different from a Western tech, but also how international companies can leverage it to access the China market.

[00:33:52] So I’ve, co-wrote it with my partner who is head of global marketing for wechat, the only foreigner in we-chat. And we kind of brought out two expertise together to basically shed light on a topic that a lot of people know is really important, but they don’t really know how to navigate it because as you would know, Michael China tech is so far ahead, but it’s like a different world.

[00:34:16] It’s very, very different. So being working on that, which has taken up a lot of my time. And then apart from that, I’ve been doing kind of private consulting for select clients. So basically just what I was doing at AusCham, but privately and independently for particular clients that reach out through my network.

[00:34:37] Yeah. Great. And if people want to find me, they can, I was, I was just going to say, basically LinkedIn is the best place to find me and I’m with regards to the book and any consulting around that. I’ll be announcing the book later on. So watch this space. So yeah, we’ll link up on the show notes to your, your, LinkedIn, and then we’ll also, I can’t wait for the book.

[00:35:04] I always love to read people’s books about China and China business, even though, you know, I’m in here, I love to learn. So, we’ll try to get that added to the show notes when it’s ready and then people could grab it. It’ll be like a Kindle or it’ll probably be a print and then Kindle or it’ll be like that or no.

[00:35:26] Okay. Okay, great. Yes, definitely send it. We’ll we’ll link it up so people listening later can find it. Thanks so much Asha. So, is there anything else you’d like to add before we, we wrap up the recording? I don’t think so, love it a lot. I think that, you know, for me, it was a really good opportunity to come in here.

[00:35:49] So thank you for having me. As I mentioned, I have kind of been in isolation, writing this book, so it was actually a really good opportunity for me to brush off of my facts, but made them make sure that, you know, I am following this cause sometimes I think, especially with COVID, it is easy just to kind of get in a hole and just kind of shut out the whole world.

[00:36:09] So I just want to say thanks for inviting me and also giving me the opportunity to make sure I’m keeping abreast on Australia-China relations and you know, fingers crossed, the diplomats can work it out and the, the economies can continue to grow and hopefully the relationship can build. So it’s not just an economic one, you know, it also includes cultural ties and, you know, linguistic language ties as well.

[00:36:39] So hopefully it’ll be a good kind of reminder or a good warning for people in Australia and elsewhere to go, wait a second, we should, I guess, invest more in a deeper relationship with China, so we’ll see. But thank you. Thanks so much. And I, yeah, I guess also just, it’s, we’re all one world, right? I mean, I think the global economy or we’re also interconnected now more than ever.

[00:37:04] So, you know, I think, I think hopefully we all gotta brush up, brush up our relations knowledge with all these countries. So, I appreciate you sharing with us. It’s been really, really fascinating. And, yeah, so that’s it for recording, but if you’re, if you’re watching this now just well, Asha and others to stick around, if you have, we’ll have a little bit of networking.

[00:37:23] All right. Thank you again, Asha. Bye. Thanks. We’re kicking off 2021. We’re relaunching our mastermind, masters we did those a couple of years ago. We made some great relationships in the community, great business and personal relationships with people. And they’re one of my favorite parts of the mastermind and a community.

[00:37:40] We have a whole new minisite, You will see there the different groups we have, of course, Amazon, we have B2B trading, we have drop shipping, we have more and more. We have, it’s becoming more of a platform with leaders in the community, hosting these masterminds, trying to make the best of the new year with this new online lockdown and a new online community building.

[00:38:02] Check it out, Thanks in advance. Thank you so much, Asha for sharing. Definitely, I’m excited about her book coming out. We’ll try to update the show notes with her book, and it’s very important, you know, to help support people when they launch their books, I know how much work it goes into creating them and also promoting them.

[00:38:22] And I’m really excited to read them myself. I try my best to keep up with all my friends in any industry here, creating books as well, and it’s contributing to the ecosystem. But while I’m thinking of like cherries and lobsters sitting on ports in China, we can’t can’t, you know, as business owners, we like to think we have control, you know, that is why a lot of us has become entrepreneurs, we kind of quit our jobs because we feel like we want to have control over our destiny control over what we can do.

[00:38:51] But fortunately, if you’re a cherry farmer in Australia, you know, you might be getting hit pretty hard right now. And it most likely has nothing to do with the way you’re operating your business. And that’s why, and I’ve even said it a long time ago to people in a diversification in your business, you know, selling physical goods, but also building communities, building content.

[00:39:12] I’ve been sharing that on other podcasts. So, you know, try to have multiple streams of income. Of course, you know, we have to have our main income, which is selling products. For these cherry farmers, but there’s always ways to adapt as best you can. Although sometimes you might get crushed. You might have to change your business, but

[00:39:31] I, I do hope people bounce back. I do hope people stay positive. It’s been a heck of a year for all of us. See, I thought 2019 was crazy with the trade war. And 2020 has been obviously COVID and, and trade relations, but stay positive. Keep on trying. And I’m losing my voice here. I’m freezing cold here in Shenyang China, but try my best to stay warm, stay positive and keep on pushing forward.

[00:39:57] Thank you so much for everything, everybody. And keep on listening. Keep on watching. Keep on making action. I wish you the best in 2021. To get more involved in running an international business, please visit our website at That’s Also be sure to subscribe to our iTunes feed.

[00:40:21] Thanks for tuning in.

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Tags: asia, australia, business, career, china, entrepreneur, guide, lifestyle, tips, travel

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