China, ultimatum to web stars: “Pay taxes or heavy penalties”

Ten days to comply with the tax administration. This is the time allowed by China to its “celebrities” and Web stars after the record fine for fraud against the well-known influencer of the country, Viya Huang. Chinese President Xi Jinping in August called for “common prosperity” by promising an “adjustment” of excessive incomes. A message then intended as a warning to the wealthy patrons and the excesses in some sectors including showbiz and the internet, accused of offering “staggering salaries”.

The tax law

Last Monday, influencer Viya, famous in China for her 2.0 tele-shopping videos, was framed for tax evasion and sentenced to pay a record 1.3 billion yuan (181 million euros). “The stars of the show, livestreamers and other public figures must strictly comply with the provisions of the tax law,” recalled several tax offices, including those in Beijing and Shanghai. “It is the duty of every citizen to pay taxes,” the tax administration reiterated in a note published yesterday. And it gave celebrities until “the end of the year,” or 10 days, to comply, threatening “heavy” penalties. Viya, from the day after the conviction for tax evasion, was banned from the main social networks of the country.


Viya isn’t the first Chinese star to be arrested for tax evasion. In August, actress Zheng Shuang, known for several roles in popular television series in China, was sentenced to pay 39 million euros. And in 2018, movie star Fan Bingbing apologized to his fans and the Communist Party after receiving a $ 129 million fine from the taxman.