The Chinese Academy of Sciences has offered a 4,000 yuan (S$819) reward for information leading to the recovery of a downed weather balloon.
A research team with the CAS Institute of Atmospheric Physics lost sight of its high-tech balloon while conducting meteorological tests on Monday afternoon in Zhangqiu, Shandong province.
The institute wants it back to analyse the data it collected.
Based on the wind direction and speed, the balloon is believed to have landed in nearby Zibo, either in the Zhoucun or Zichuan district, The Paper reported.
Zhangqiu's meteorological station said it had received a call from a student at Shandong Vocational College of Light Industry in Zibo who had spotted someone taking away a large balloon that had fallen to the ground that day, according to the report.
The type of weather balloon that went missing can reach altitudes of up to 30 kilometers and is equipped with instruments that can collect information on atmospheric pressure, temperature, humidity and wind speed.