A pilot scheme described as 'ground-breaking' could see China move closer to being cruelty-free.
Under current laws, beauty products manufactured outside the country must be tested on animals before they are sold in China, meaning previously cruelty-free companies - like NARS - choose to ditch their cruelty-free credentials in order to profit from China's burgeoning beauty market.
The new program, launched by Cruelty Free International in partnership with Knudsen&Co and Fengpu Industrial Park, would see Leaping Bunny certified cosmetics companies avoid animal testing by producing cosmetics in China. This would open the market up to brands who have refused to sell there, because they wanted to abstain from testing.
"The scheme was discussed with representatives from Leaping Bunny companies and the UK Department of International Trade at the China-Britain Business Council in London," says Cruelty Free International.
"The meeting was an opportunity for companies to learn more about the pilot and register their interest.
"This follows a meeting in Shanghai last week where we were joined by Chinese companies and representatives from the cosmetics industry."
Michelle Thew, CEO of Cruelty Free International, added: "We know there is demand from consumers in China for cruelty-free cosmetics and incentive for companies to operate in the Chinese market.
"Having worked intensely with our partners in China, we are delighted to be able to announce this ground-breaking project. This is a great opportunity for us to gauge the level of demand from international brands to register their interest in entering the market in China.
"This is a really exciting scheme that could benefit animals, consumers and cruelty free companies alike."