Chinese comedian Li Haoshi, also known as House, was fined over $2 million by authorities, causing significant losses for the entertainment company involved. Li’s use of a phrase associated with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) during his Beijing comedy show resulted in severe consequences. The phrase, “fine style of work, capable of winning battles” referenced a well-known slogan tied to the Chinese Communist Party and the PLA. Beijing authorities considered this a serious insult to the PLA and detrimental to society. The Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism recently fined the company’s subsidiary $1.91 million and confiscated $189,000 of “illegal gains” from Li’s shows. Li and his entertainment company issued an apology on Weibo, the Chinese social media platform.

In 2021, China implemented a law prohibiting insults and slander against military personnel. A notable case involved a former investigative journalist sentenced to seven months in prison for challenging China’s depiction of its role in the Korean War through a patriotic film. These incidents highlight China’s strict measures to protect the military’s image and discourage criticism. As a result, Li Haoshi (House) has been indefinitely suspended by Shanghai Xiaoguo Culture Media. Some Chinese internet users expressed support for the penalties and criticized stand-up comedy as a lesser art form. However, concerns remain regarding potential future restrictions on comedy in China.