My name is Michael Wester and although my Chinese name is 魏思得 (Wei Side), the common Chinese transliteration for “Mike” is 麦克. Meanwhile, smog in Chinese is 雾霾 (wumai) and has become the default term for the stuff that plagues our air. I’ve combined the sounds of the two to create the Wumaike, which you could roughly translate into “Guest of the Smog.”
I started this site as a 16-year resident of one of the most polluted capital cities on Planet Earth — Beijing. Over the course of this time — especially in the 8 years since the ’08 Olympics in Beijing, I’ve become obsessed with air quality. I have four brands of air filtration machines in my home as well as five air quality testers and a dozen anti-pollution masks. My company — True Run Media — produces digital and print media for foreigners and for families in Beijing, two groups particularly concerned with air quality here.