Texas firm offers costly air purifier
Updated: 2014-04-11 11:20
By Jack Freifelder in New York (China Daily USA)
An executive of a Texas-based 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".
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. Provided to China Daily
(China Daily USA 04/11/2014 page2)