Does China still require animal testing?


Last week there was a headline that got people thinking that China has ended animal testing. People were so happy with the headline that they didn’t read the article well and went on to buy products from brands like MAC, L’Oreal, Avon, etc. Eventually, I imagine that they felt guilty when they found out that the headline was misleading. So going back to the question “Does China still require animal testing?” the answer is YES. However, let me explain to you why the misleading headline was posted.

Pre-Market Tests vs Post-Market Tests

From what I have understood products that are sold in China go through at least two testing phases. One is the “pre-market test” which is when a new product is going to enter the Chinese market. The other test phase is “post-market test” which happens when the product is on the shop shelves in China.

Are animal tests required for Pre-Market Tests?

Yes, China requires that for safety reasons, products have to be tested on animals before they are allowed to be sold in China.

Are animal tests required for Post-Market Tests?

For routine post-market tests, animal tests are no longer required. However, for the non-routine test, China still requires animal testing. Companies wouldn’t know when their products have gone through post-market tests. So it will be hard for them to avoid the non-routine animal test to happen.

Routine vs Non-Routine Post-Market Tests

Routine test is done to all products after they have been allowed to be sold in China. Non-routine test is done when there was a complaint from a customer and the authorities remove the products from the shelf and test them to be sure that they are safe.

Are MAC, L’Oreal, Avon and other brands that sell in China cruelty-free now?

Unfortunately no as the animal test requirement has been removed only from the routine post-market test. If these brands have new products in China. Their new products are still animal tested for the pre-market test. Assuming they launch nothing new in China, they still have no control of when Chinese authorities test their products on animals during the non-routine post-market test.

But I love MAC/L’Oreal/Avon…, can I buy from these brands?

You are free to do what you like. The aim of this post is just to make you aware. It is up to you whether you want to live fully or partially cruelty-free and where to draw the line. I am not trying to force you to live cruelty-free or to stop you from buying products from brands that sell in China. My aim is just to raise awareness on some animal cruelty issues with regards to cosmetics.

If you have any more questions with regards to this topic, please do not hesitate to ask. My aim is to guide you.

DISCLAIMER: This is not an affiliate, pr or sponsored post.


(a.k.a. Fiona Henschel) Malta-born blogger. I have been blogging during these last 6 years on my cruelty-free lifestyle including recipes, beauty and makeup products that I discover, receive, buy and try.