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Sales of Vitality Air from Canada soar in China due to air pollution

Vitality Air in China, air pollution in China

Since China's capital city Beijing issued its first ever air pollution red alert last week, sales of bottled Canadian fresh mountain air to Chinese customers have soared.

Two entrepreneurs from Alberta have been selling Vitality Air for just over a year, but over the last two weeks their sales to China have increased dramatically, reports The People's Daily Online. 

The red alert over air pollution was issued by Beijing authorities on December 7, lasting three days, amid the second bout of bad air this month. During this time PM2.5 levels – tiny hazardous airborne particles – exceeded 900 micrograms per cubic metre.

Vitality Air was co-founded by Moses Lam and Troy Paquette in 2014. They travel to high rocky mountains in Alberta, western Canada for the fresh air, which is home to over 600 lakes. 

In the mountains, massive cans are filled through clean compression with pure revitalising air, something that is not found in Beijing during the harshest days.

On their website Vitalityair.com it says: 'We strive to provide a premium quality necessity that isn't always available.

'The best and the freshest necessity of life – fresh clean air and oxygen.'

Speaking to the MailOnline, Harrison Wang, Vitality Air's China representative, said: 'It's been a pretty wild ride for us as we only started to market the product a month and a half ago.

We got the website up and running, then put Vitality Air on Taobao – a Chinese website similar to eBay for online shopping – and we sold out almost instantly.'

Their first shipment to China was a little over 500 bottles of air, their next shipment in two weeks will be around 700.

'We have sold everything, and we now have a bunch of customers and a people wanting to be our distributors,' said Harrison.

It's an exciting time for the company, putting their product on the market in China has been a fast learning curve, especially when it comes to the country's e-commerce industry.

'Consumer spending power is like something we have never seen before and we are pleasantly surprised. 

'We know the demand is big so we are being reactive instead of proactive, and doing our best to accommodate for the market needs and demands,' he said.

Moses and Troy from Vitality Air have spent time in China, and they are fully aware of the current pollution crisis.

'The pollution is certainly a problem and the government is taking aim to sort it, we see it has an issue and we want to give people the opportunity to inject a little bit of fresh into their daily lives,' said Harrison.

They initially put the fresh mountain air into sealed plastic bags and sold it on eBay for 99 cents per bag. 

Now they are selling one canister of compressed air for up to $46 dollars depending on the size. 

That's around 400 Yuan to Chinese residents for a can of air, which is 200 times the price of a bottle of mineral water – usually around two Yuan.

As well as China, the company has had sales in countries including Iran and Afghanistan.

Selling 'fresh air' in a bag or a bottle is not a new commodity in China.

Entrepreneurs from both home and abroad have been trying to capitalize on the country's pollution problem for a while.

In 2014 China planned to offer tourists affected by the smog, bottles of 'oxygen'.

The bottles were to be manufactured as part of a tourism scheme by authorities in China's south-west Guizhou Province.

In 2013 one lucky Chinese businessmen made millions selling soda pop-sized cans of air at 80 cents a can. Chen Guangbiao told reporters he sold 10 million cans in 10 days.

When the red alert was issued in China, the authorities announced plans to close schools, temporarily shut factories and take half of the city's cars off the roads. 

The country's high pollution levels has been described as an environmental crisis by the World Health Organisation.

2016-06-23

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