Push to cripple Chinese-owned wineries
Australians are being urged to steer clear of 41 Australian wineries after a viral list revealed they were actually owned by Chinese companies.
The explosive list was shared on social media recently following Beijing's escalating feud with Australia.
It has led to a raft of devastating restrictions to be imposed upon Australian industries, with the wine industry especially hard hit by new import taxes of up to a staggering 212 per cent.
Other industries already affected by Beijing's bullying include timber, lamb, lobster and barley, and there are fears the tactics could spread even further to other sectors.
The list, which was shared on the Vino e Amigos Facebook page, reveals that most of the nation's Chinese-owned vineyards are located in Victoria and South Australia, with some also found in Tasmania, WA and NSW.
However, it does not reveal crucial details such as what percentage of each winery is owned by Chinese companies, and many social media users pointed out it included some wineries owned by Australian-Chinese people who weren't to blame for Beijing's tactics.
Another pointed out some on the list were "run by Aussie workers though, and Aussie workers are still getting paid", indicating a boycott may cause more harm than good.
But the long list shocked many Facebook users, with dozens unaware of just how many Australian-based companies weren't actually Australian-owned.
"No wonder some Aussies always say the govt is selling the country to China," one person posted, while another added: "Aussie winemakers have been teaching the Chinese how to make wine for years. For what, to screw us over?"
It comes amid a global push to buy Australian wine to prop up the industry, which has been brought to its knees by the tariffs.
It gained international prominence after the US National Security Council recently tweeted that Australian wine will be front and centre at a White House holiday reception.
"Pity vino lovers in China who, due to Beijing's coercive tariffs on Aussie vintners, will miss out. #AussieAussieAussieOiOiOi!" the Twitter message reads.
WINE INDUSTRY DEVASTATED
According to IBISWorld, China's unprecedented tariffs on Australian wine, announced last month, would decimate the sector which is already struggling from the impact of last summer's bushfires and other factors.
The tough new restrictions mean Chinese demand for Australian wines is expected to almost entirely collapse.
"The wine production industry generated revenue of $7 billion in 2019-20. Of that amount,$2.9 billion was generated from exports," IBISWorld Senior Industry Analyst Matthew Reeves said.
"China is the dominant market for Australian wines, accounting for 36.7% of export revenue last year."
"Australia's premium wine exports will have an easier time finding new buyers outside of China, supporting bigger players in the industry. On the other hand, exports of cheaper wines will likely face significant difficulty in the coming months."
The latest stoush with China has sparked calls for Australian consumers to boycott Chinese products this Christmas, with One Nation's Pauline Hanson urging Aussies to hit China where it hurts in retaliation to "China's recent economic attacks against Australia".
However, the relationship between the two nations has been in decline since the US - a close ally of Australia - entered a trade war with the economic giant in 2018.
That year, Australia angered China by becoming the first nation to ban Chinese smartphone heavyweight Huawei from its 5G network over national security concerns.
Relations also nosedived earlier this year when Mr Morrison called for an independent inquiry into the origins of the lethal coronavirus pandemic.
Since then, China has dealt a series of trade blows, with everything from barley to timber and rock lobsters being slapped with sanctions.
Most recently, China decided to impose tariffs of up to 212 per cent on Australian wine imports, a move set to have a devastating impact on the industry.
In November, China also leaked a bombshell dossier listing 14 reasons why it was "angry" at Australia.
Originally published as Push to cripple Chinese-owned wineries