Ninety multinational companies have been put on a list of industrial polluters published by the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, a Beijing-based NGO.
Among them are international big names like Pepsi, 3M, Nescafe, Yamaha and Samsung, as well as KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants, which are the most familiar brands for Chinese consumers.
Half of these international companies are located in Shanghai, China's largest industrial city and financial hub, and the others are operating in 18 other provinces and municipalities.
Some of these firms have even become major polluters in their host cities. For instance, the city government of Tianshui, in northwest China's Gansu province, shut down a Carlsberg beer brewery for severely polluting rivers.
About 30 of these blacklisted international companies have responded to the issue, but only seven of them said they accept check by a third party, according to Ma Jun, director of the institute.
"Many of these multinational companies have strict environmental standards in their home countries, but they lowered the standards after launching branches or joint ventures in China," said Ma.
Ma urged these companies to follow their promise on environmental protection and abide by relevant laws and regulations in China.
On the list are only foreign companies involved in water pollution and whose violation of environmental regulations has been made public by the environmental protection department.