A restaurant in China has been charging customers for a clean-air fee. The Chinese had also been buying bottled fresh air from a Canadian company. Thick smog shrouded the country in recent weeks. The visibility was less than 100m for the past weeks. On Dec. 7, authorities issued a red alert. The air condition reached a level where hazardous particles exceeded 900 micrograms per cubic meter.
A restaurant owner in the Chinese city of Zhangjiagang bought and installed an air-filtering system. He then decided to “reimburse” the money he spent from customers by charging 1 yuan or $0.15 in addition to their bill, BBC reported. Customers who were charged called out the restaurant for the illegal fee. But Chinese netizens said the customers should welcome the fee. Customers reasoned out that paying the clean-air free was not the problem. “The problem is being informed in advance and obtaining consent,” one customer said as quoted by BBC.
Meanwhile, Vitality Air, a Canadian company, found a profitable market in China. The company had been selling bottled Canadian fresh air for more than a year but their sales skyrocketed the past two weeks because of Chinese buyers.
The company was co-founded by Moses Lam and Troy Paquette. To make their product, they travel to the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, the company explained on its website. They fill cans with fresh air through clean compression with pure revitalizing air. Back in their facility, they fill their cans to the brim with the fresh air.
Harrison Wang, Vitality Air’s representative to China, told the Daily Mail that they started selling 500 bottles of air at first. For their next shipment, orders were up to 700. “We have sold everything, and we now have a bunch of customers and a people wanting to be our distributors,” Wang said. He further explained that the demand is big. “We are being reactive instead of proactive, and doing our best to accommodate for the market needs and demands,” he said.