Texas firm of­fers costly air pu­ri­fier

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSSAMERICA - By JACK FREIFELDER in New York jack­freifelder@chi­nadai­lyusa. com

An ex­ec­u­tive of a Tex­as­based man­u­fac­turer of air pu­ri­fiers said his com­pany’s tech­nol­ogy could help bol­ster China’s fight against air­borne pol­lu­tants — and it comes at a high price for the aver­age Chi­nese con­sumer.

Peter Mann, is the CEO and founder of Oransi in Austin, which was founded in 2009 and be­gan ex­port­ing prod­ucts to China in late 2013. Its new line of Erik air pu­ri­fiers sell in China for be­tween $2,000 and $3,000.

Mann ac­knowl­edged that there are not many in China who can af­ford a $3,000 air pu­ri­fier be­cause it’s more of a lux­ury item for the high end con­sumer.

“Pro­duc­ing a higher qual­ity prod­uct is re­ally where our fo­cus has been in or­der to get to a good point of dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion, and our prod­uct is bet­ter than what’s out there,’’ Mann said Thurs­day in an in­ter­view with China Daily.

“It’s a bit chal­leng­ing to sell a more highly-priced prod­uct, but we’re still fig­ur­ing out the Chi­nese mar­ket,” he said. “It’s a learn­ing process, but the prod­uct sells it­self.”

Mann said Oransi plans to in­tro­duce a smaller unit in the fall that is more in line with the other prod­ucts and price points in the mar­ket.

He said Oransi’s Erik unit be­ing sold in China now has close to 40 times more fil­ter ca­pac­ity than any other pu­ri­fier, uses 90 per­cent less en­ergy than its com­pe­ti­tion, and fil­ters 99.99 per­cent of air­borne con­tam­i­nants.

Mann said the big­gest is­sue fac­ing Chi­nese con­sumers is the qual­ity of the prod­ucts that are avail­able in the mar­ket.

“If you use a cheaper fil­ter it’s just not go­ing to work as well, so that’s the main dif­fer­ence” Mann said. “People who have money want a prod­uct you can trust, and they know that means putting the best com­po­nents into a prod­uct.”

Mann said his busi­ness in China started with a cou­ple of Chi­nese dis­trib­u­tors in Bei­jing — in­clud­ing Park­son, a mid- to high-end Asian depart­ment store chain — but he said sales have grown since Oransi sent its first ship­ment of 500 air pu­ri­fiers to China.

Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping has pledged to tackle China’s pol­lu­tion prob­lem amid in­creas­ing pub­lic con­cern over en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues in the world’s sec­ond largest econ­omy.

Seven of the 10 Chi­nese cities with the worst air pol­lu­tion in the third quar­ter of 2013 were lo­cated in He­bei prov­ince, which sur­rounds the Chi­nese cap­i­tal of Bei­jing.

And the air pol­lu­tion prob­lem shows no signs of wan­ing, ac­cord­ing to re­cent in­for­ma­tion from the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WHO).

WHO re­ported that close to 7 mil­lion people died as a re­sult of air pol­lu­tion ex­po­sure in 2012, con­firm­ing air pol­lu­tion as “the world’s largest sin­gle en­vi­ron­men­tal health risk”.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Peter Mann, CEO and founder of Texas-based Oransi, poses with his com­pany’s new Erik Air Pu­ri­fier. The new line has been avail­able in China since late last year and sells for be­tween $2,000 and $3,000. He said they can clean up to 99.99 per­cent of air­borne con­tam­i­nants over 1,700 square feet.

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