CONSUMERS PUSH FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PRODUCTS
How much is cleaner air and water worth?
In Shanghai, Zeng Wenjing spent 7,000 yuan ($1,122) for an air purifier and 10,000 yuan for a domestic water-purification system. And Zeng said they were worth the money because they will help keep is family healthy.
With Chinese consumers seeking a healthier environment at home, the market for electronic appliances that provide it is a large market. And recent sales statistics prove it.
About 1.7 million air purifiers were sold in China in 2013, a 116-percent year-on-year increase, according to data of GfK, a service provider of market research and consultancy.
For water purification, combined sales of all price ranges reached 9.5 billion yuan, a 79.5-percent year-onyear increase, according to data from CWN, a specialized network for water purification sector.
Despite the skyrocketing sales market, insiders said that such systems need to be more regulated with a national standards, and consumers need more education to better understand what they are buying.
At a department store in Shanghai’s West Nanjing road, 34 models of air purifiers of 12 brands await a consumer’s selection — or confusion.
“Various brands, various index, various price, it could be quite confusing for consumers to choose a suitable device,” said Zhang Ziqi, a 34-year-old accountant.
Zhang then decided to buy one model from South Korea, after she compared prices and the size of the space that each device covered.
In China’s expanding air- and water-purifier market, foreign brands occupy a big share.
Seven of the top 10 best-selling brands of air purifiers in China in 2013 were foreign brands, while Chinese brands took only three places, according to ZOL, a website of e-commerce transaction records.
Many consumers lack confidence in domestic brands due to the absence of up-to-date national standards for air purifiers, according to industry analysts.
Current national standards on indoor air cleaners, enacted in 2008, do not include the need to filter PM2.5 and a much higher use by consumers, according to Song Guangsheng, director of the National Indoor Environment and Indoor Environmental Product Quality Supervision Center.
Water-purification devices are in no better shape.
China does not have national standards for domestic water-purification systems, and many manufacturers of small sizes are making products in workshops instead of in standardized plants, according to a report by Oriental Outlook.
That will soon change with the drafting of new
ious brands, various index, various price, it could be quite confusing for consumers to choose a suitable device.” ZHANG ZIQI A 34-YEAR-OLD ACCOUNTANT
national standards for domestic air cleaners and water purifiers, said market insiders.
“We have already been working on the new national standards and will make clean-air delivery rate one of the major benchmarks for evaluating the effectiveness of an air cleaner,” said Lu Jianguo, a senior engineer with China Electric Appliance Research Institute and a member of the committee overseeing the drafting of the new standards.
Clean-air delivery rate is a measure of the amount of cubic feet per minute of air that has had all particles of a given size distribution removed.
Qingyuan Group, one of China’s leading waterpurifier manufacturers which advised on drafting national standards for water purifiers, said China is going to introduce national standards for the domestic appliances this year, and the standards will take effect in August.