China Daily/Asia News Network
Monday, Mar 12, 2012
In light of recent public outcries against the mistreatment of animals,
Taobao.com and Tmall.com, two of the leading e-commerce sites in China,
have banned the sale of bear gall, shark fin and other animal products
that are obtained through questionable or cruel methods.
Jin Yuanying, a senior director with the department of social
responsibility at Hangzhou-based Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, said that
two sites will stop selling these products to help protect the
environment and in support of animal rights. "Change starts from us
ourselves and consumers," he added.
Alibaba and Taobao.com have banned the sales of shark fin on its sites
since 2009. In May 2010 Alibaba announced it would stop selling bear
and any bear-related products. The group has gone on to place more
stringent restrictions on the sales of animal products, particularly
nationally protected animals.
When the number of Chinese Internet users passed 500 million in
December, there was additional pressure for the e-commerce leader in
China to place more emphasis on animal protection.
"Now on the two online trading sites there are some products that are
labeled with 'shark fin' tags to attract attention. They're not the
fin we're banning, but rather squid," said Ni Lian, a quality
representative with Taobao.com.
He added that the prevention and eradication of sales of these illegal
products is a long process.
Most online vendors understand and cooperate with them, Ni said. Some
members have even made donations to the Animals Asia Foundation.
The Alibaba Group is doing more to support the protection of animals
through different initiatives. In January, Alibaba collaborated with
Animals Asia Foundation to initiate a project. They organized a charity
bazaar on Taobao's platform to sell bags and hats designed by singer
Karen Mok, image ambassador for the charity. All the proceedings from
that went toward bear protection projects.
In May 2010, Alibaba group provided monetary assistance for a bear
rehabilitation center in Sichuan. The bear the group supported, named
Alibaba, arrived at the center after living in Shandong for 15 years
where it was gravely mistreated.