Many Beijing residents go to great lengths to avoid breathing the city’s smoggy air, especially when it reaches critical pollution levels, but one local entrepreneur decided that canning and selling this poor quality air as a souvenir would be a great idea. Believe it or not, he was right.
After seeing a number of companies achieve commercial success by canning fresh air from countries like France, Canada or Australia and selling it in China, Dominic Johnson-Hill, a British-born citizen of Beijing and owner of the Plastered 8 souvenir shop, decided to turn the idea on its head and sell canned Beijing air throughout China and abroad.
“I’d seen people going crazy to buy canned air from Canada and Australia, so I thought it was time to push business the other way,” the entrepreneur said. “They’re perfect gifts! What else are you going to take home when you go home from Beijing? A roast duck? A Plastered T-shirt? These cans are light, portable, you can just imagine someone’s face when they unwrap if for Christmas.”