Ninety multinational companies are put on a list of industrial polluters published by the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, a Beijing-based Chinese non-government organization.
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 Chinese provinces and municipalities.
Some of these firms have even become major polluters in their host cities. For instance, a Carlsberg beer brewery was shut down by the city government of Tianshui, in northwest China's Gansu Province, for its severe pollution of local 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.
The number could be greater when foreign companies or joint ventures responsible for air pollution and solid waste pollution, according to Wang Jingjing of the NGO.
Only companies which have passed an environment check from a third-party agency could be removed from the list, according to Wang Jingjing.