Court orders Baozou Comics to apologize for humiliating war hero
A court in Xi’an of China’s central Shaanxi Province has ordered Baozou Comics, or Rage Comics, to extend a formal apology on state-level media and pay RMB 100,000 ($14,528) of compensation to the family of Ye Ting, a communist hero during China’s national war, Chinese media is reporting.
In May this year, Baozou Comic, a popular satirical comic in China, posted a 58-second long short video which depicted someone wearing its iconic “rage face” mask mocking Ye and Dong Cunrui, another war-time hero who blew himself up to destroy a Nationalist bunker during the Chinese Civil War.
This soon incurred the wrath of the public as well as the content monitors. The company’s site and official accounts on different China’s social platforms were forced to close down in mid-May for rectification. To ease public anger, the company Chief Executive Officer Ren Jian has led his team to apologize in front of the hero’s memorial monument and promised to improve patriotic training for the young team.
China has been tightening its grip on cyberspace as President Xi Jinping is asking companies to “firm its stand in the right values so that there won’t be any fatal errors in where the company is heading.” Douyin, China’s trending short video platform owned by Bytedance, also received a blow over ads involving disrespectful content about Communist heroes.
China’s National People’s Congress passed and enacted on May 1 a new law to protect authorized heroes and martyrs who have made contributions to the nation. Under the provision, the names, portraits, reputations of the heroes and rewards they received are protected by the law and people are forbidden to deny, distort or slander and they can’t be used for commercial purposes.
China’s culture and tourism authorities have launched a new campaign to clear up negative portrayal of martyrs in May, removing over 60,000 video clips and shutting down over 8,030 social media accounts, according to data revealed by the country’s state-media People’s Daily.