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China bear-bile producer drops IPO plan


17:02, June 03, 2013

Chinese bear bile producer Guizhentang announced on Sunday it would drop its initial public offering (IPO) by applying to withdraw its IPO application from authorities.

The move symbolizes a failure of the company's three-year effort for an IPO, however it will retain the possibility of relaunching a future IPO when the time is appropriate, according to the company's board of directors.

Guizhentang, a pharmaceutical company that produces traditional Chinese medicine containing bear bile, has been under fire for weeks since it was found to have resumed a plan to go public in an attempt to expand its bile production.

Internet users and animal lovers have accused Guizhentang of animal cruelty in extracting bile from live bears, despite the company's claims that it uses humane "no tube" drainage methods.

Pressure from environmentalists and public opposition have been attributed to the failure of the company's IPO launch by public observers.

"I never thought Guizhentang would succeed in going public since the beginning of its plan," said Zhang Xiaohai, public relations director of Animals Asia Foundation, one of the main groups opposing the company's IPO launch.

However some observers believe the government's attitude is the main reason behind Guizhentang's business decision.

At a meeting held by the World Conservation Union last September, some members suggested to China delegates that the bile-oriented bear breeding industry should gradually be clamped down.

Chinese government delegates and other members eventually reached an agreement that the Chinese government will no longer issue new licenses for bear breeding, according to Xie Yan, an expert with the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Science, who also attended the September meeting.

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