A Chinese-backed property firm shipped millions of Australia’s coronavirus supplies, including sanitiser and masks, to China earlier this year.
The Greenland Group, a Chinese-owned property firm that deals in high-end real estate in Melbourne and Sydney, switched to draining Australia of millions of supplies that the country would need to deal with the coronavirus, and sent them off to China instead.
Employees were ordered to source bulk supplies of surgical masks, hand sanitiser, thermometers, anti-bacterial wipes, Panadol, and gloves, to be shipped to China.
A company insider told the Sydney Herald that “basically all employees, the majority of whom are Chinese, were asked to source whatever medical supplies they could”:
This exercise went on for weeks through January and February. There were numerous requests from the HR manager and even our direct reporting line [which] prioritised the assisting of the company in gathering these supplies over other work activities. The entire accounts department were absent for days as they were out purchasing supplies.
The employees gathered the supplies in Greenland’s Sydney offices, packed them into pallets that were then stamped with the company logo, and sent on their way to the Chinese mainland.
Greenland’s Australian managing director, Sherwood Luo, even boasted about their efforts on social media. “Greenland Australia is taking action,” he wrote on Facebook in February. “The second batch of non-contact forehead thermometers will soon take off to China!”
It wasn’t just Australia that was affected. In a company newsletter, Greenland said that they had sent 3 million protective masks, 700,000 hazmat suits and 500,000 pairs of protective gloves from “Australia, Canada, Turkey and other countries” over to China.
In a statement, the Greenland Group confirmed the reports that the company “organised shipments of medical supplies to Greenland Group’s global head office in Shanghai, to help contain the rapidly-developing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in China”:
Greenland Australia’s parent company, Greenland Group, felt compelled, as a major international company, to assist in efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus, which had caused a shortage of crucial medical supplies in China. As such, Greenland Group initiated a drive for medical supplies, and provided accommodation services for front-line medical staff in China via the company’s hotel group. Greenland Australia supported Greenland Group’s initiative by arranging for medical supplies to be dispatched to China. Again, it should be noted that this proactive response occurred in late January and early February, at a time when the worldwide spread of the virus, and all response efforts, were focused on China.
The company added that they “recognised” that the Australian people are at risk from the coronavirus, and are “focused” on helping Australians. “We will continue to do everything we can to assist,” the statement continued.
The first confirmed case of coronavirus in Australia occurred on January 25th, meaning that it had already hit the country while the Greenland Group continued to ship supplies to China.