While the general assumption is that the worst polluters are domestic firms that may escape punishment due to their local “guanxi” or because of the importance of their business to the local economy, foreign firms are not immune. It is reported by the Times of India that 33 international companies, including Panasonic, Pepsi-Cola and Nestle, “have been blacklisted for causing water pollution”:
“The Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs has compiled a list of over 2,700 “serious polluters.”It, however, said that pollution caused by the country’s domestic companies is even more severe…Director of the institute, Ma Jun said he collated information released by environmental watchdogs during the past three years, but this is the first time such a list has been compiled…”I was surprised to see well-known names in global business listed as water polluters in China,”Ma was quoted as saying by ‘China Daily.’
Clearly the vast majority of these polluters are local firms, and it would be no surpise to find an element of political posturing behind the inclusion of some big foreign names. Nevertheless, it is a reminder to foreign investors that local sensitivities (from the environment to unions to consumer care) should be taken into acount, and that (as Apple recently found) activities in China may have implications at home as well.
See news source:
multinationals blacklisted in China 
Times of India – India
… “I was surprised to see well-known names in global business listed as water polluters in China,”Ma was quoted as saying by ‘China Daily.’. …