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On Australia’s Gold Coast, a 22-mile- long (35-kilometer) stretch of beaches named Surfers Paradise and Rainbow Bay, Neil Rech opened a surf shop in December and unwittingly disturbed the peace.
His store, Sedition Surfboards, sells Chinese imports for A$250 ($258), one-third the cost of some Australian-made boards that competitors are offering. Rival retailers averse to discounts and upset about local job losses questioned his patriotism, and even threatened violence, he said.
“It’s quite heavy,” Rech, 34, said of the backlash. After teaching for two years in China before opening a store in Coolangatta, Queensland, “I realized how cheap you can actually get these boards so I thought it’d be a great opportunity to bring them here and sell them to the public cheaper.”