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China’s sells shark fins


CHINA WATCH I have to confess: before I became a Greenbanger in China, I used to eat everything. Everything includes: dog, cat, snake, rabbit, turtle, abalone, shark fins and other things you might never have heard of.

Indeed, Chinese people eat everything. If “green” means animal-friendliness, the food business in China is definitely not a green one. I do not think those rare food are especially tasty or nutritious, but they are all especially expensive – expensive enough to satisfy some people‘s vanity and curiosity.

A perfect example is shark fins, “a delicacy often found on the menus at high-end banquets in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and other Chinese cities” as BusinessWeek described.

It also revealed the buying and selling of shark fins on the China’s top e-commerce companies:, a business-to-business marketplace that is 40% owned by U.S. Internet giant Yahoo!

Honestly, I am not surprised by that news. Where there is a demand, there is a supply. provides small and midsized companies in China the chance to find buyers and sellers overseas. And, among the thousands of products displayed on Alibaba’s site, are numerous types of shark fins, prized by many Chinese as the vital ingredient in shark fin soup, a delicacy often found on the menus at high-end banquets in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and other Chinese cities.

Alibaba denies any wrongdoing regarding shark fins.

“We respect our members’ rights to make their own decisions on issues of cultural tradition,” Alibaba spokeswoman Christina Splinder said in an e-mail to BusinessWeek.

The company has a policy prohibiting Web site users from listing products taken from animals protected by local or international law such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), she says. (Sharks are not on the CITES protected list.)

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