Bear bile maker website hacked

Updated: 2012-02-19 13:56


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BEIJING - 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 was hacked at 9: 30 pm Saturday, one hour after the company posted a message online welcoming the public to visit its bear farm on Wednesday and Friday, according to a statement by the company on Sunday.

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 incident came after animal welfare groups and members of the public protested against an IPO (initial public offering) plan by the company, which manufactures medicine using bile extracted from live bears.

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). 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.