China: 1st Commercial Firm Clones Rare Breed Dogs, Sells Pups for Millions of Dollars

| by Phyllis M Daugherty

China’s Boya Life has entered into a joint venture creating the country’s first commercial cloning company and will produce Tibetan Mastiffs, one of the world’s most expensive dog breeds, announced Xinhau on September 25, 2014.

The first focus of the firm was to produce ‘three pure-blood Tibetan Mastiff puppies," born to a surrogate mother. They are reportedly carbon copies of a stunning, award-winning, eight-year-old Tibetan Mastiff, called Jiama.

The large furry dogs are deeply loved and highly coveted by China’s wealthiest class of citizens, who will pay hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars for a single dog, claims Xinhua, China’s state-run news agency.

The commercial cloning operation is a joint venture with Korea’s Sooam Biotech Research Foundation.  Prior to establishing the new company, China was limited to cloning only for research purposes.

 According to Xinhua, the firm will next attempt to clone Giant Pandas; however, it is not legal to sell them for pets. 

Although the official news release from China announcing the commercial  joint venture with Sooam Biotech Research Foundation is just at start-up, a FoxNews story out of Seoul, South Korea, on June 19, 2008, stated that a joint-effort cloning was already in place at that time.

The article said that a South Korean team “has created 17 clones of an endangered dog breed popular in China.” 

The Sooam Biotech Research Foundation issued a statement at that time that cloned Tibetan Mastiff dogs were born in April, two months after being requested by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The team of Seoul National University scientists successfully created the world's first known dog clone in 2005--an Afghan hound named Snuppy, according to FoxNews.

Sources: Tech in Asia, FOM News