Illegal wildlife trade sets up shop online in China

Left: Mr Bao Lei taking a snake out of its tank at his shop in Beijing. Above: A listing for peacocks on Chinese shopping website Taobao.
Mr Bao Lei taking a snake out of its tank at his shop in Beijing.PHOTOS: DANSON CHEONG, TAOBAO

Dozens of listings for exotic animals found on platforms such as Taobao and JD.com

The rise of e-commerce and social media platforms in China is underpinning a worrying increase in the illegal wildlife trade.

Platforms such as Taobao have several listings for exotic animals, ranging from peacocks to foxes to prairie dogs, while social networking app WeChat has also become a trading hub, said experts.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 30, 2018, with the headline 'Illegal wildlife trade sets up shop online in China'. Print Edition | Subscribe