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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Coca-Cola Offers Hardship Pay For Expats In Beijing

A woman wearing a mask walks past the CCTV Building during severe pollution in January 2013 in Beijing. That week, the AQI in Beijing hit 755, even though it normally maxes out at 500. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

A woman wearing a mask walks past the CCTV Building during severe pollution in January 2013 in Beijing. That week, the Air Quality Index in Beijing hit 755, even though it normally maxes out at 500. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

In Beijing today, the Air Quality Index is squarely in the “very unhealthy” zone, according to the U.S. Embassy’s readings. That’s not at all unusual.

The unrelenting smog means that companies are increasingly considering the city a hardship post. Coca-Cola is one of the latest to start giving expat employees in Beijing a bonus for “environmental hardship” — an extra 15 percent.

Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti checks in with NPR Beijing correspondent Anthony Kuhn.

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