Animal-rights activists in China are claiming a rare victory after a company that raises bears to extract bile from their gall bladders withdrew its application for a public listing.

The plan for an initial public offering by Fujian Guizhentang Pharmaceutical had caused outrage on social media and sparked online petitions from activists who say extracting bile from live bears is cruel.

The uproar reflects both a growing environmental awareness and the increasing affluence of ordinary Chinese, who keep pets, travel overseas and are changing attitudes toward traditions they may not have questioned in the past.

Last week, the China Securities Regulatory Commission listed Guizhentang as one of 269 companies that had withdrawn its application for an IPO this year.

When called for comment Thursday, the company repeatedly hung up.