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‘Raw sadness’ at ex-Adelaide law student’s shock death



The sudden passing of the former recipient of the Prime Minister’s Asia awards at the end of May, only days before the city lifted its strict lockdown rules, shocked the Australian ex-pats and business circles in Shanghai, where his colleagues and friends held a funeral ceremony while his families and friends in Adelaide watched via Zoom.The early death of Mr Norris was also mourned by his beloved LinkedIn community, where his frequent and in-depth analyses of Chinese consumers and companies had won him the LinkedIn Spotlight Award 2019 as one of the most viewed and active professionals in China.“Raw sadness at the news Michael Norris has passed too early, “ Norris’s friend and mentor, Australian businessman Jerry Clode who recruited Michael to join him in Shanghai in 2017, posted on the tragic news on LinkedIn.After moving to Shanghai, Mr Norris, who spoke and wrote in the Mandarin language at a native level, worked in multiple roles including Resonance China and AgencyChina, advising investors and executives and conducting ethnographic and digital consultancy for the world’s leading brands into the Chinese market.He soon rose as one of the most frequently sought media commentators and consultants and an emerging public speaker on China’s tech dynamics. That includes his infamous predictions on Luckin Coffee’s shonky corporate governance, a year before the company admitted to sales fraud, which eventually let it be delisted from Nasdaq in 2020.“Given the trajectory, Michael was on in his career and the reach he had already gained, I’ve no doubt that many people are shocked to hear this news, “ General Counsel of the Department of Enterprise, Investment and Trade Chris Carr paid his tribute on LinkedIn.Jesse White, the Trade Manager at Global Victoria wrote: “Michael was an incredible guy, head and shoulders above so many of us who play in China. He was the benchmark that I aspired toward, but also a really great guy. Shocked.”Once the youngest committee member of the Australia-China Business Council (SA), Mr Norris had studied at China’s top university, Tsinghua University after being awarded the Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Undergraduate Award in 2014, an elite scholarship for Australia’s ‘best and brightest students to develop longstanding linkages with Asia.It is understood that Mr Norris’s Family has been supported by the Australian Consulate for the repatriation of his ashes to his Adelaide home, where a Celebration of Life will be held and zoomed to his friends and colleagues in various countries, from where over 800 condolences were sent to his grieving family.

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