Five Beijing middle school students have been fined for forcing a fellow pupil to eat excrement, according to local police, a punishment seen by many netizens as too lenient.
Beijing Yanqing district police conducted an investigation into the involvement of seven middle school students after a video of the incident went viral.
The incident occurred during morning break in Yanqing No.2 Middle School Thursday, said a post on the Yanqing police official account on Monday, which added that the victim had suffered physical injury and had previously been forced to pay the bullies more than 100 yuan (.6).
According to the police notice, five of the bullies have been fined but will not be imprisoned as they are under 16 years old and the other two will not be punished as they are under 14.
The scale of the fines was not revealed.
The 90-second video, which was uploaded on Saturday night, shows a boy in a green and white school uniform being forced to touch excrement with his bare hand and then lick it, thecover.cn reported on Sunday.
The bullies can be heard insulting the boy and threatening to beat him with sticks, according to thecover.cn.
The incident has triggered heated online debate with many netizens saying that tthe bullies deserve more severe punishment.
A Sino Weibo user "Baoguangxiaojun" said that the boy seemed to have difficulty walking and that he might have been physically and mentally hurt by the "extreme and horrible" bullying.
Another Sino Weibo user "Fengkuanglaobeijing" compared the incident to a similar case in the U.S. when Chinese student bullies faced life sentences.