As China’s pollution problems continue, a Canadian company has cashed in on the crisis by selling bottles of fresh mountain air to people for up to $28 (£18.50) each.
Beijing was issued its first ever red alert in December over its hazardous pollution levels, causing the capital to shut down schools and construction for a period of time, while attempting to take a percentage of the city’s cars off the road and telling people to stay indoors.
Since then Shanghai has seen its own smog problem hit its highest level since January, with schools being prompted to ban outdoor activities and factory work curbed on Tuesday.
But sales of Vitality Air - bottles fresh mountain air from Banff and Lake Louise, Canada – have soared in China. A single bottle of the company's "premium oxygen" costs $27.99 ($18.50) while a bottle of its Banff air costs up to $23.99 ($15.85).
Harrison Wang, Vitality Air’s China representative, told Mail Online that the minute the bottles went on sale in Taobao, a Chinese website similar to eBay for online shopping, they “sold out almost instantly”.
The company started marketing the product in China less than two months ago, but now that the first shipment of 500 bottles is sold out, another of 700 bottles is on its way.
Mr Wang said the company sees pollution as an issue in China “and we want to give people the opportunity to inject a little bit of fresh air into their daily lives”.
Vitality Air markets itself as “enhancing vitality one breath at a time,” and says it can help with “hangovers, alertness and working out,” as well as being “your solution to pollution”.
But Vitality Air is not the only business cashing in on China’s pollution problem – a restaurant in in Zhangjiagang city recently started charging patrons for fresh air, after owners bought air filtration machines for the establishment and added a surcharge to people’s bills for the operation costs.
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