Gui Zhen Tang hopes to buy thousands of bears for their bile with the funds raised from its IPO. (File Photo/CFP)
China's securities regulator announced Feb. 1 the information tables of companies that have applied for IPOs. The company that has drawn the most attention on the 515-company list is Gui Zhen Tang, a bear-bile producer, which triggered an uproar among animal lovers at home and abroad. The company is planning to be listed on the Growth Enterprise Market, according to the Beijing Morning Post.
As China's biggest bear-bile enterprise, Gui Zhen Tang has 400 black bears in its breeding base and it plans to develop a 3,000-acre base to support 12,000 bears with the funds it raises from its IPO.
Many internet users have blasted the company for their practice of extracting bile using a tube inserted into a living bear's body. Gui Zhen Tang's website says they use the latest "no-tube extracting techniques" to collect the bile in a painless way, adding they can extract the bear's bile in five to eight seconds. The company compares the procedure to a human blood donation. The explanation has not silenced critics, who say the practices constitute mistreatment of animals, and if the company goes public the situation will become more severe.
"They open a hole in the body, stabbing into it twice a day with a catheter. Do you believe that process would be fast and painless without harming the health of the bear?" one netizen posted. Another internet user called it the cruelest form of human nature to torture a living creature slowly. Natural bear bile will fade out of the Chinese medicine market sooner or later, the netizen said, just like musk and tiger bones. The internet user said he is angry that such a ruthless business could go public.
Animal lovers called for a bile boycott a year ago. At the time, many government officials agreed. Now, a year later, Gui Zhen Tang is ranked No. 28 on the IPO application list. Officials say they are still waiting for feedback to determine whether to approve Gui Zhen Tang's application.
Gui Zhen Tang 歸真堂
Growth Enterprise Market 創業板
Wan UFJ Securities 萬聯證券