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Air purifiers fall out of favor as air pollution eases in China

© Provided by Xinhua

BEIJING, June 8 (Xinhua) — Air purifiers which once had been a must for many urban citizens in China have gradually fallen out of favor in recent years. This change has been brought about thanks to improved air quality from effective environmental protection measures.

A Beijing citizen, surnamed Cao, encountered a dilemma after moving house, as he did not know what to do with the two air purifiers he had purchased several years ago. They currently sit vacant in the corner of his home.

Air purifiers gained popularity in the Chinese market several years ago. They even became necessities for many homes.

“The popularity of purifiers is closely related to frequent smog and poor air quality,” said Cheng Baoping, a sales manager with Yadu Technology Group Co., Ltd., one of China’s air purifier manufacturers.

Cheng recalled that about 20 years ago air purifiers were not popular at all. To promote sales, the company even allowed customers to try the machines for free, however this marketing strategy was to little avail.

In the 2010s, the sales of air purifiers started to increase along with people’s concerns over air quality as air pollution had worsened in some places.

China’s air purifier industry began to surge from 2013, and peaked in 2017 with 7.25 million machines sold and annual sales totalling 16.2 billion yuan (about 2.4 billion U.S. dollars), according to an industry report released by the Shenzhen-based Zhongshang industry research institute.

The industry then continued to decline and the sales scale in 2021 shrank to 6.5 billion yuan, while the annual shipment was only about half of that in 2017, said the report.

In 2018, China launched a campaign against pollution and made specific targets for 2020. By the end of 2020, China had finished those targets ahead of time.

The environment continued to improve last year. The percentage of days with good air quality was 87.5 percent in cities at and above the prefectural level in 2021, up 0.5 percentage points year on year, according to an official report.

The average concentration of hazardous airborne particles PM 2.5 was 30 micrograms per cubic meter, down 9.1 percent year on year, according to the report.

By 2025, carbon dioxide emissions per unit of the country’s GDP will be reduced by 18 percent from the level in 2020, according to a circular jointly released by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council in 2021.

In cities at or above the prefectural level, the intensity of PM 2.5 will be decreased by 10 percent, the proportion of days with good air quality will reach 87.5 percent during the period, according to the circular.

The improved air quality has also forced these air purifier manufacturers to enhance the functions of their machines. “The purifier industry should meet consumers’ demand of health and green in the future,” Cheng said.

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