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Purifier makers see thirst for cleaner water in China

中国日报网 2013-06-27 10:27

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Domestic and foreign water purifier suppliers are expanding in China, where households are feeling the pain of clean water shortages.

Companies such as UK-based Unilever, Beijing Origin Water Technology Co and US-based Amway have developed their own water purifiers.

Unilever, the global consumer goods giant, plans to sell its water purifier, called Pureit, in China starting July 1. It has already begun trial sales in Nanjing and will expand into Suzhou, Wuxi, Changzhou in Jiangsu province and Shanghai this year.

The main distributors of Pureit will include supermarkets, electronics retailers, including Suning Appliance Co and GOME Electrical Appliances.

Cooperation with property developers and e-commerce retailers is under consideration.

"As a move to implement our sustainable development plan, Pureit has achieved good performance in eight countries, and we are confident of success in China as well," said Zeng Xiwen, a vice-president of Unilever China.

Zeng added that the drinking water purifier market is open and has few regulatory constraints.

Pureit, introduced in 2008, is now sold in eight countries to 48 million consumers. Unilever aims to provide clean water to 500 million people by 2020, and at least 5 to 10 percent will be Chinese, said Zeng.

Origin Water set up a household water purification branch in 2009 and developed its own purifier portfolio for urban and rural consumers. It now has more than 100 dealers across the country.

Its sales of water purifiers in 2012 totaled 31.3 million yuan ($5.06 million), up 64.8 percent from a year earlier, according to the company's annual report.

Amway has also announced its foray into the Chinese clean water market, introducing a 6,000-yuan water purifier.

According to the China Water Purification Association, there are more than 3,000 companies engaged in the sector. The retail prices of water purifiers in Beijing range from a few hundred to a few thousand yuan.

No brand has a majority market share. Moreover, there is no single set of standards for these devices, which carry certifications in China, the US, Japan and other countries.

Questions:

1. How many companies are in the water purifier business?

2. Who are some of the players?

3. What is the retail price of a water purifier?

Answers:

1. More than 3,000.

2. UK-based Unilever, Beijing Origin Water Technology Co and US-based Amway.

3. It ranges from a few hundred to a few thousand yuan in Beijing.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

About the broadcaster:

Nelly Min is an editor at China Daily with more than 10 years of experience as a newspaper editor and photographer. She has worked at major newspapers in the U.S., including the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is also fluent in Korean.

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