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China's entrepreneurs tap pollution control market

Posting in Cities

With China's pollution reaching high levels, can startups fill the niche for air-cleaning consumer products?

The Chinese government says it will invest $275 billion over the next five years to combat air pollution. In the meantime, citizens bought nearly three million air filters in 2013, an increase of 50 percent year-on-year, and small businesses are taking matters into their own hands.

A workshop of Chinese DIY investors have created air purifiers that cost less than $30, and the instructor of the workshop claims they are just as effective as professional models. The home-made fans, constructed from cheap plastic, HEPA filters and gauze panels, are only one way that entrepreneurs are tackling the problem of air pollution.

Startup O2ganic promises naturally clean air with plant packages, face masks are a popular purchase, and companies are buying branded options to get their employees to work when pollution reaches dangerous levels.

One company, PureLiving China, has targeted the business space itself. The firm offers "pollution-proof" offices for up to $800, promising a complete diagnostic assessment of inside air and water quality and then suggesting solutions to combat the problem. While the company has traditionally served expats, PureLiving China has experienced a surge in inquires from Chinese families.

Company spokesperson James Westwood said:

"Finally the pollution problem is becoming public knowledge. In the past, people would blame gray skies on fog."

Via: The Atlantic

Image credit: Flickr

— By on September 9, 2013, 9:58 PM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure