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China: Around The Nation

Air quality is improving in Beijing this winter – and that’s bad news for some home appliance retailers

Stores are struggling to sell one kind of white good that previously flew off shop shelves

PUBLISHED : Monday, 08 January, 2018, 4:13pm
UPDATED : Monday, 08 January, 2018, 4:22pm

Just last winter air purifiers sold themselves in the smog-choked Chinese capital but fast-forward a year and sales of the home appliances have slowed to a trickle as air quality has improved in Beijing, Chinese media reported on Monday.

A combination of favourable weather and tighter pollution controls resulted in Beijing reporting its best winter air quality in five years last month.

The city had a run of 25 days when its air quality was rated “excellent” or “good”.

According to Beijing’s environmental protection bureau, air quality was at least good on 226 days – or more than 60 per cent of the time – in 2017, 28 days more than a year earlier.

Beijing enjoys best winter air quality in five years

The average level of PM2.5 – fine suspended particles particularly dangerous to human health – also fell by roughly 20.5 per cent from the previous year to 58 micrograms per cubic metre.

Air quality is defined as good when there is less than 150mcg of PM2.5.

As a result, retailers were struggling to shift air purifiers where once they would have sold out, Beijing Morning Post reported.

Why blue skies over Beijing this winter could herald a turning point in city’s battle against pollution

A salesman at one store said that even half-price offers were not tempting buyers.

One resident said her parents had used an air purifier just once since she bought it for them in October.

“That’s because the weather has always been good,” she was quoted as saying. “I still have two boxes of filters I haven’t opened yet.”