Bear-bile firm Fujian Guizhentang Pharmaceutical among IPO pullouts
Companies withdrew their applications as securities regulator stepped up scrutiny
A maker of bear-bile products withdrew its application for an initial public offering as regulators increased scrutiny of companies seeking listings.
Fujian Guizhentang Pharmaceutical was among 269 companies to have pulled their applications this year, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said on its website on Friday, without giving reasons.
Beijing Loving Animals Foundation last year sent the securities regulator a petition opposing Guizhentang's listing signed by 70 celebrities, including snooker champion Ding Junhui and painter Chen Danqing.
Guizhentang says on its website that it can harvest bile from bears without causing discomfort. Animal-welfare groups say the process is inhumane.
Guizhentang rears more than 400 black bears on its farm in Fujian province and is able to breed 100 cubs a year, its website says. The company's powders have medical benefits such as preventing hepatitis and other liver diseases, improving vision and detoxifying the body, according to its products page.
Repeated calls to Guizhentang's main telephone number were not answered.
Initial public offerings have been suspended since October amid equity-market declines that dragged the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index to near four-year lows. The securities regulator may begin approving IPOs again as early as mid-August, the 21st Century Business Herald reported last week, citing a source close to the regulator.
Authorities have already called for greater checks on firms seeking listings. The regulator in January set a deadline for advisers on offerings to submit "self-inspection" reports that check for fraud in the financial statements of companies.