The Chinese comedian Li Haoshi has been ordered by the Chinese government to pay a fine of 2 million USD. The fine must be paid by the company where Haoshi worked because he made a joke about the Chinese military.
Li Haoshi recently performed a stand-up show where he according to Reuters said that he was reminded of the slogan, “have a good work ethic, be ready to fight and win battles,” when he saw a video of two street dogs chasing a squirrel.
It is the slogan that President Xi Jinping used in 2013 when he praised the work ethic of the military.
Reuters cites a statement from Beijing saying the joke is “gravely insulting” because it hurts national sentiment and honor.
“We will never allow any company or individual on stage to intentionally belittle the glorious images of the People’s Liberation Army.” So read the statement from the Chinese authorities.
In addition to the fine, Li Haoshi has been fired from the company, Xioaguo Culture. He is now being investigated by the police. Xioaguo Culture has also been permanently banned from performing in Beijing.
According to Reuters, Haoshi has written an apology on the social platform Weibo, but his account has reportedly been closed to the public.