In China, a breath of fresh air means business.
A start-up company Vitality Air saw the demand to sell bottles of fresh air from Canada just like selling a typical bottled water.
Vitality Air co-founder Moses Lam says he came up with the business idea last year after listing a bag of ziplocked air on eBay, which sold for 99 cents.
“In North America, we take our fresh air for granted but in China the situation is very different,” he explained.
In a report by CNN, said that the first batch of 500 canisters filled with fresh air from the Rocky Mountain town of Banff went on sale in China last month and sold out within two weeks.
“Now we’re taking lots of pre orders for our upcoming shipment. We’re getting close to the 1,000 mark,” said Harrison Wang, director of China operations.
The air sells for $14 to $20, depending on the size of the canister.
It was reported in Northern China that it recently experience smog, especially during the cold winter months when homes and power plants burn coal to keep warm. The country’s capital Beijing issued its first ever red alert because of poor air quality, closing schools and restricting traffic.
“In China fresh air is a luxury, something so precious,” he added.
Meanwhile, Wallace Leung, a professor at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, told CNN that buying bottles of air was not a practical solution to China’s air pollution.