CON­SUMERS PUSH FOR EN­VI­RON­MEN­TAL PROD­UCTS

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI -

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

Var‘

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.

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