It has recently been announced that both Hourglass Cosmetics and Urban Decay are opening stores in Hong Kong. This has led to a lot of confusion in the cruelty-free community about what this means for the animal testing stance of brands. Can brands sell in Hong Kong and be cruelty-free? Because Hong Kong is part of China, are the Hong Kong animal testing laws the same as in China?
In an effort to help set the record straight, this post will provide you with some important details about the animal testing laws in Hong Kong and what it means for cruelty-free brands who choose to sell there.
The short of it is that brands are able to sell in Hong Kong and remain cruelty-free!
While Hong Kong is technically a part of China, Hong Kong does not have the same testing laws as mainland China. Mainland China currently requires animal testing on the large majority of cosmetic and beauty products. Hong Kong has been able to maintain their own laws about animal testing. The Hong Kong animal testing policies are not the same as those of mainland China. This means that brands can sell in Hong Kong and be cruelty-free.
Where it can be confusing is that Hong Kong is often considered China when it comes to labeling on product packing and websites. Some cruelty-free brands may say that they are available in China or say that they have a store in China, but they sell only in Hong Kong and not in mainland China. If you come across a brand that labels things this way, it’s a great idea to let them know that it’s confusing and could be costing them customers.
Animal testing is currently not banned in Hong Kong. With the recent positive changes in China to help reduce animal testing, Hong Kong is being encouraged to enact a ban on animal testing in order to help push mainland China further in the right direction.
If you have been concerned about the recent news of large cruelty-free brands expanding into Hong Kong, hopefully this helps to clear things up.
Hourglass cosmetic was acquired by UNILEVER and Urban Decay is owned by L’oreal. Both companies are known to finance animal testing in the past and maybe even continue until today (in more indirect way if you will). Does this make the two mentioned brands ‘cruelty free’?
Hi! I do include brands with parent companies that are not cruelty-free, but always note this so that people can be aware and pick what’s best for them.