Skip to the article content

Aussie businesses set to tackle the lucrative Chinese consumer market

02 November 2017

Winners of the ‘nbn Glocals Academy’ announced

Three Australian businesses have been announced as winners of the nbn Glocals Academy, which will see them upskill on everything from learning how to process overseas payments to finding a purchasing agent before launching their products internationally.

The winners will undergo a six month one-on-one mentorship program with Chinese business expansion expert, CT Johnson to gain firsthand advice and training on how to launch their products into the lucrative Chinese market during Chinese New Year in February 2018.

NBN Co opened up submissions for the nbn Glocals Academy to small and medium businesses looking to expand internationally, in June this year. 

The launch followed the release of new research which revealed almost half (46 per cent) of Australian small and medium businesses are planning to operate in overseas markets this year1.

China was identified as the most attractive market for Australian businesses (39 per cent) due to a strong demand for local products.

The research also found the majority (91 per cent) of businesses agreed online technology is a key enabler to overseas expansion with four in five (81 per cent) stating improved technologies such as the nbn broadband access network will make the transition easier.


The winning businesses include:

  • Koala Eco (Edgecliff, NSW) – an eco-friendly cleaning product company.
  • Screen Weaver (Wollongong, NSW) – an online video production company.
  • Kemu Cafe (Central Coast, NSW) – a local plant-based health food café.


CT Johnson, Cross Border Management’s Managing Director said:

“Chinese New Year offers a huge opportunity for local businesses with Australian retail sales by Chinese tourists estimated to reach between $750 and $900 million during this period2.

“The Chinese market is not monolithic as it’s made up of many small niches with varying customer needs, interests and socio-economic groups. For example, China’s organic market is growing rapidly as a result of domestic food scandals so there is a huge demand for overseas products.

“Any overseas business expansion inevitably comes with its challenges from language translation to online payment systems. I will work with the winning businesses to set weekly challenges, online mentoring sessions and reading material to make sure they are prepared and set up for success.”


Ben Salmon, NBN Co’s Executive General Manager of Business Sales and Marketing said:

“With more than 20,000 businesses connecting to services over the nbn access network each month, we’re seeing businesses from around the country tapping into new overseas opportunities as a result of greater connectivity.

“Whether it’s video conferencing, cloud-based collaboration tools or online marketing, access to fast broadband will enable more local businesses grow their customer base in new markets without having to leave their hometown.”


nbn Glocals Academy Winner, Andrew Cox, Founder of Kemu Cafe said:

“With our business now well-established on the Central Coast, we are looking to take our wholefood vegan product concept to a whole new level by selling it overseas.

“The Chinese market represents a fantastic opportunity for us to raise awareness of the planetary benefits of veganism and plant-based living while at the same time tapping into a large international market.

“It’s amazing to think that we can be marketing our products to China while operating on the Central Coast – having the nbn access network will enable us to reach global customers at a fraction of the cost and time.”


nbn Glocals Academy Winner, Paul Davidson, Founder of Koala Eco said:

“Koala Eco was always developed with the intention to expand further and the Chinese market is one we are excited to venture into as we see a demand for eco-friendly Australian products.

“We hope the nbn Glocals Academy will equip us with the much-needed knowledge and tools to expand our networks, overcome challenges and launch into China in the coming months.”

“Since connecting to services over the nbn access network, we’ve already seen communication with suppliers in Australia become much easier – now our internet connection and the mentorship will enable us to expand into new markets without leaving our Edgecliff office.”


nbn Glocals Academy Winner, Karen Pouye, Founder of Screen Weaver said:

“Running a technology business in a regional location was often seen as a disadvantage, however, our service over the nbn access network has meant we can talk to partners, customers and suppliers all over the world – our location is now an advantage.

"We’re excited to work with CT Johnson to find out how we can translate and adapt our offering for a Chinese market.”

The nbn access network currently is available to more than one in two Australians, is scheduled to be three quarters built by mid-next year and complete by 2020.


For more information about the nbn Glocals Academy visit:


Notes to editor

  • 1The nbn Glocals Report was commissioned by nbn and authored by CT Johnson on behalf of Cross Border Management. The report included insights from a survey conducted by Fort 2 Consulting in April 2017 of 506 Australian small and medium sized businesses with less than 1-199 employees across every state and territory.
  • 2Cross Border Management – Golden Dragons: The Spending Habits of Chinese Tourists in Australia, 2016


Media resources

Click here for video, audio and infographics.


About NBN Co:

  • NBN Co is building a new and upgraded, fast wholesale broadband access network to enable communities across Australia to access fast broadband from their phone and internet provider. Our goal is to connect eight million homes and businesses by 2020.
  • The rollout of the nbn access network sets the scene for one of the biggest transformations to Australia’s telecommunications industry involving retail service provider network upgrades and the establishment of a network to provide access to fast broadband to Australians.
  • Connecting to the nbn access network is not automatic and is a process which may take some time and preparation. NBN Co is working with the phone and internet providers and industry to help them better understand who is responsible for which portions of their internet experience and what steps they can take in order to receive the best possible service.
  • The speeds experienced on services over the nbn access network are determined by a range of factors such as the technology used to deliver the network as well as some factors outside our control like equipment quality, software, broadband plans, signal reception and how your phone and internet provider designs their network.
  • Fast broadband like that delivered via nbn access network can provide a range of benefits for Australian businesses such as opportunities to work from home, drive efficiencies and lower operating costs.

Media enquiries

Talia Spink

Phone: 0488 902 436


nbn Media Hotline

Phone: 02 9927 4200


Media resources