China's cultural and tourism authority unveiled a list of companies penalized for producing and spreading improper online games, performances and music, prompting observers to call for harsher penalties on similar behavior.
Five of China's major video streaming service providers, including iQiyi and Sina Video, received the "maximum penalty" for spreading spoof videos about China's revolutionary heroes and red classics.
iQiyi staff declined to provide more information when reached by the Global Times on Tuesday.
Another company, Sichuan Shengshi Tianfu in Southwest China's Sichuan Province, was warned and also slapped with the maximum penalty for producing spoof videos of people performing the Yellow River Cantata, which was composed in 1939 and is usually associated with the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1931-45).
The list published by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism on Monday also included four games wherein players can play a role in the government in ancient China and can get promoted.
The four companies producing the games declined to respond when reached by the Global Times on Tuesday.
"The government should crack down on online games which feed off human weaknesses and content which parodies and mocks revolutionary heroes and red classics, because this subverts history," Qin An, head of Institute of the China Cyberspace Strategy, told the Global Times on Tuesday.