Retired basketball superstar Yao Ming pets a bear at the Longqiao Bear Rescue Center in Southwest China's Sichuan province on Saturday morning. The center rescued the bear from a factory that extracts bile from live captive bears to make traditional Chinese medicines. [China Daily]
A Chinese bear bile products manufacturer's website was hacked Saturday night, after the company invited the public to visit its farm.
The website of Guizhentang Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., which manufactures medicine using bile extracted from live bears, was hacked at 9: 30 p.m. Saturday, an hour after the company announced in an online message that it would open its bear farm to the media and officials, according to a statement Sunday by the company.
Technical repairs had been carried out on its website and it was functioning as normal Sunday morning. The company had reported the hacking to the police, the statement said.
The company said in the online message that it would receive media reporters on Wednesday and representatives of the People's Congress, political advisors, experts, scholars and non-government organization workers on animal welfare on Friday.
Over 100 people are expected to visit the farm and the visitors will get the chance to view the bile gathering process, according to the company.
Saturday's online invitation also included 72 celebrities and workers from animal protection organizations, who jointly signed a letter addressed to China Securities Regulatory Commission against the company's IPO (initial public offering) plan.
The China Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) defended the company at a press conference Thursday afternoon, comparing bile extraction operations to "turning on a tap."
Internet users have discovered that the company is a member of the association. The annual membership fee is 5,000 yuan (794 U.S. dollars). The association has since admitted that the company is a paid-up member.
A day prior to the online attack against the bear bile company, the TCM association website was hacked.
Bear bile, a popular ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine, is believed to cure liver and eye ailments, remove toxins and eliminate fevers.