Smoke and Mirrors: China’s complicity in the global illegal pangolin trade

The extent to which the Chinese Government supports the continued use of pangolins, the world’s most trafficked mammal, is revealed in a new EIA report.Four months ago, Chinese State media reported that pangolin scales had been removed from traditional medicines – but research has found it is still business as usual. 221 companies licenced to sell pangolin scale products; 56 of these companies actively advertising medicinal products claiming to contain pangolin online; a total of 64 products listing pangolin as an ingredient advertised on manufacturer websites; six of these products available via e-commerce websites. One of the companies identified is China’s largest traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) pharmaceutical company, China Beijing Tong Ren Tang Group Co Ltd, which has subsidiaries across the world and whose shareholders include major European and US investment funds.