Chinese residents can now breathe clean New Zealand air without setting foot in the country, South China Morning Post reports. But doing so comes at a cost.

About half a dozen online retailers are selling "pure, hand-bottled, pollution-free, oxygen-rich air from New Zealand" to people in China's smoggy northern cities.

South China Morning Post cited reports from other local media that the bottled air was becoming a "thriving business".

A 7.7l bottle could cost up to 699 yuan ($141) but online stores had heavily discounted them to 219 yuan ($44).


Stores offered the biggest discounts to customers living in the most polluted areas of the country. Beijing residents could get up to 75 per cent off the normal price.

At least two bottles were sold in the past month, South China Morning Post reported.

Retailers said the bottles contained 180 gulps of air. So a breath would cost between 24c and 78c.

Pure Kiwi Air bottled air.
Pure Kiwi Air bottled air.

Bottles from other countries were also available, but most were cheaper than the bottles from New Zealand.

Canadian air cost about half as much as the New Zealand variety, with a 7.2l of "Vitality Air" fetching about 108 yuan (NZ$21).

An even cheaper alternative was a bottle of air collected in the coastal Chinese city of Weihai, in the eastern Shandong province, which retailed at only 5 yuan ($1).

One online store advertised the bottles as "[Sourced] from the sea or the mountain, options available at no extra charge".

"No smog, absolutely pure air," the advertisement read.


It has become a lucrative business for Kiwi entrepreneurs.

Canterbury-based Breathe Ezy was selling bottles of New Zealand air for $28 to people living in Chinese cities, Newshub reported in July.

Breathe Ezy director Phillip Duval told Newshub selling the bottles to Chinese was "one way of giving them a little breath of pure New Zealand air".

He marketed the products using Tourism New Zealand's "100 per cent pure" slogan.