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Market blow away 'special air' rumors

By Liu Ge (Global Times)

15:15, November 09, 2011

Illustration: Liu Rui

This autumn, a time of year which is normally clear and fine, has seen several successive murky days. Due to using more precise measurement techniques, the rating of Beijing's air quality by the US embassy in China differs markedly from the data released by the Chinese environmental department. Beijing citizens suffering from air pollution have naturally paid attention to the difference. A debate which should have been conducted on a scientific and technological level took on a political tinge.

 A recent report in the New York Times on November 4 about Beijing's air drew public attention toward a more intriguing topic. The report stated "Even in their most addled moments of envy, ordinary Beijingers could take some comfort in the knowledge that the soupy air they breathe on especially polluted days also finds its way into the lungs of the privileged and pampered. Such assumptions, it seems, are not entirely accurate. As it turns out, the homes and offices of many top leaders are filtered by high-end devices."

The report was based on adverts by a Chinese company, the Broad Group, which has been promoting its air-purifying machines in advertisements that highlight their ubiquity in places where many officials work and live.

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