Twenty-nine Chinese Internet companies, including heavyweights sohu.com and iqiyi.com, have been punished for hosting comics and animated works that feature violence or terror, according to the Ministry of Culture.
“By providing illegal contents, these companies violated regulations on Internet cultural management, audio and visual programs and services,” the ministry said on June 8 in a statement.
Subject to warnings or fines, the violators were also urged to take down the titles in question, the ministry said.
It did not elaborate on the details of the cases or the fines imposed.
In addition, eight Chinese websites were shut down for posting improper comics and running without licenses.
The statement also included a blacklist of 38 comics and animated works with “severely improper content” and a warning that under no circumstances should any group or individual share these titles.
Among them is “Terror in Resonance”, a 2014 Japanese animated TV series set in Tokyo after a terrorist attack, and “Death Note”, a manga series and subsequent TV adaptation about a high school student with a notebook that gives its user the ability to kill people.
“The list is the result of evaluations by investigators, reviews by the ministry and the opinions of experts. It aims to guide websites in the proper review and importation of comics and animations,” said Liu Qiang, a senior ministry official.
According to Liu, more titles will be added to the blacklist as the crackdown on online comics and animations intensifies, and repeat offenders will have their business licenses revoked.