China and Animal Testing


Another cosmetic company has announced that they are not going to operate in China because of its policy towards animal testing.   This time it is Korean company Aromatica. There hasn’t exactly been a huge number of companies taking the same stance yet.  Most of them seem to be taking the view that any bad publicity they run into is going to be offset by the value of the potentially huge Chinese market.

I think this might be a mistake.  The Chinese may have other things on their minds at the moment, but I imagine that at some point the issue of animal testing will become a factor there.  It will probably only be a small minority that are bothered by the issue.  But it is only a small minority in the West even now.  They have an impact out of all proportion to their numbers by effective campaigning and good organisation.  Chinese opponents of animal testing are quite likely to do the same, given that they have the example of success elsewhere to follow.

China may be different now, but it is getting more similar every day.  I think companies that want take advantage of the growing wealth of the Chinese would do well to consider that what looks like a good business decision today may prove to be a very bad one in a decade’s time. China and animal testing may be a bigger issue then.

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