Market report: Flourishing air quality market equipment in China
Rising interest for air quality equipment in China
Chinese people are more and more concerned by China air pollution problems. The phenomenon of Chinese consumers investing in an air purifier to enhance the quality of the indoor-air they breathe is gaining momentum. Air-purifiers are among the most demanded products of the Chinese domestic appliance market. This piece of equipment is becoming widespread in households, shopping centres and workplaces. Thus, the air quality market equipment in China is flourishing.
Pollution waves triggering significant increase in air quality market equipment in China
During last winter, air pollution index sky-rocketed. It reached more than 450 in Shanghai whereas a 300 index is already considered as “serious pollution”. This pollution wave in Chinese cities triggered an explosion of the interest in air-purifiers. The index for the sale of air purifiers on the e-platform Taobao increased 267.5 per cent for the week ending on December 10th compared to the preceding seven days and 1.264.4 per cent compared to the same period the year before. 1.7 million air-purifiers were sold in China in 2013. This represents a 116% increase in comparisons with the 2012 sales.
Huge opportunities for foreign brands on the Chinese air-purifiers market
Air-purifiers have prices ranging from 10 RMB to thousands RMB. However, it is difficult to assess the real effectiveness of an air-purifier. When two items with very extremely prices claim to remove the same amount of air pollution, there are no official standards to help people see which air-purifier is the best. Consequently, Chinese consumers tend to trust foreign brands in spite of the presence of cheaper local brands. Even if a bank offered air-purifiers from local brands as gifts to its best clients, foreign brands like Philips, Sharp and Daikin are the brands which have the preference. They sell air-purifiers priced between 2000 and 3000 RMB. Foreign brands possess 80% of the market-share. Many companies are aware that this growing Chinese air-purifier market has a huge potential. For example, Toshiba has started selling air-purifiers in November 2013 even though two other Japanese brands, Panasonic and Sharp, were already well-established in China, owning more than a half of the market-share. With expensive and high-quality equipments, those Japanese brands are targeting the wealthy Chinese consumers. Oransi, an American firm located in Texas, released in November 2013 made-in-America high quality air-purifiers on the Chinese market. This first exportation turned out to be catching on in China. Peter Mann, CEO of the company expects this entry on the Chinese market to make the company’s revenue double from 3 million dollars in 2013 to 6 million dollars in 2014. Consequently, the American firm intends to try to reach an even larger fringe of the Chinese population by also exporting less expensive air-purifiers.
Other air quality equipments: air mask market in China
In time of smog, Chinese people are also purchasing more and more face masks as a protection against pollution. This mask market also turns out to be very large. Last year, 870 million RMB were spent on masks on Taobao. During the pollution peak last winter, 500 000 breathing masks were sold in two days. However, some people question the real effectiveness of masks. Curiously, Jiang Xiubin, head of an association for face masks producers in Shandong province which releases about 80% of the air masks worn in China admitted that his masks were only a protection against dust and that the stylish aspect of masks played a key role to attract consumers. One of the brands producing masks with a genuine protection is the American brand 3M. 3M produces sophisticated masks which can filter particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter. 3M expects its sales to triple in China in the next five years. Finally, some botanical stores have started selling plants less expensive than air-purifiers and able to cleanse the air of pollution but such equipment have not yet impacted the Chinese market with the same degree as air purifiers and face-masks are currently doing.
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