Update 02/19: Korres responded that they won't be selling in stores in mainland China, and they will bypass all animal testing by selling direct to customers online only. Thank you Korres for sticking to your principles, and I hope you'll have no distributors in PRC as it was implied in the press releases.
Here's their full response:
"We confirm that Korres does not and will not conduct animal testing for its products.
Our belief is that we ought to supply Korres to consumers everywhere (including China) who care about the environment, are against animal testing and who wish to be able to find great products like Korres. Until we can supply these customers directly we will reach them via internet sales through our Hong Kong partner, therefore remaining loyal to our principles."
Korres announced that they will enter the Chinese market in 2018. They recently partnered with Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia and Profex, a Chinese skincare distributor, in order to boost their sales in Asia, and more particularly in China.
As part of the agreement, Profex will have an exclusive license to distribute Korres products "in the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong and Macau".
This means that Korres will start testing on animals in mainland China, where it's required by law, and will no longer be a cruelty-free company. I've already removed Korres from my list of cruelty-free brands.
Here's the statement from Giorgos Korres, founder of Korres:
"In 2018 it will be a year-long time for the KORRES Group, as we proceed to an excellent partnership that offers us the possibility of further development. A strategic agreement that is the result of the consistent effort of our team over the past 21 years. The goal of the agreement with Morgan Stanley and Profex is to expand international markets and brand consolidation worldwide, beyond Europe, North and Latin America, where we have already set the foundations for a successful development path.
The values and philosophy of KORRES remain the same, we continue to focus on Greek herbs, the network of collaborations with growers, product innovation, scientific research, extractions - everything that expresses the heart of the brand remains unchanged. What is being strengthened in the context of the strategic agreement we are announcing today is the dynamic and unique prospects for the KORRES Group, as we continue with the same passion our efforts in the competitive global environment."