5-speed listening (Level 6)

Man sells British countryside air to China



Medium (British English)

Medium (N. American English)



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An English entrepreneur has started a booming business from selling bottled, British countryside air to Chinese consumers. Leo De Watts, 27, struck upon the idea of selling air to China after seeing news footage of pollution and smog in Chinese cities. He guessed there was a market for cleaner air. De Watts launched his company last year in the somewhat imaginatively named industry of "air farming". His team "harvests" air in bottles from various locations across Britain and ships it to China. Even though the air is cheap to collect, De Watts puts a hefty price on his products. Chinese lovers of British air have to pay around $115 for a 580 ml bottle of the fresh stuff.

De Watts was born in the British countryside and said he appreciates the quality of the air in rural Britain. He now lives in Hong Kong where he sells his fresh air at local street markets. A lot of his merchandise is sold in Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, where pollution can be particularly bad. He said his Chinese customers can be quite fussy about exactly what kind of air they buy. He explained in a promotional video that: "Quite often, a lot of our orders are bespoke. We have clients who request very particular circumstances for their air. Sometimes we'll be at the top of a mountain, and other times at the bottom of a valley." He added: "There's really a market for this. We've just started."

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