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In China, canned fresh air is what sells, not bottled water

By HILARY KIMUYU and AGENCIES

In Kenya, it is unimaginable for someone to go to a shop and buy fresh air so that you can be able to breathe. Well, in China, a country infamous for extreme pollution, this is the norm.

Just like one is bound to walk into a supermarket in downtown Nairobi to buy a bottle of water, the Chinese prefer their fresh air canned. Alternatively, they use masks that filter air.

As a result, a Canadian company which started canning fresh air as a “joke” has seen its product fly off the shelves in the pollution-hit Asian country, with first shipment selling out in four days.

Vitality Air was founded last year in the western Canadian city of Edmonton but began selling in China less than two months ago.

A Chinese woman wears a mask connected to a filter in Beijing.
A Chinese woman wears a mask connected to a filter in Beijing.

“Our first shipment of fresh air were sold in four days,” co-founder Moses Lam told the Telegraph in an interview.

Another shipment of bottles is making its way to China, but he says most of that shipment has been bought.

But even in China, bottled fresh air is still a luxury to many citizens, something so precious. A 7.7 litre can of crisp air sells for Sh 100 ($10) which is 50 times more expensive than a bottle of mineral water in China.

Vitality Air’s Mr Lam admits that he started out the company as a joke, but he realized his product’s great potential after selling a plastic bag filled with air on Ebay.

The company also sells bottled fresh air and oxygen across North America, to India and the Middle East. But China remains its biggest overseas market.