Chinese surrogacy scandal actress Zheng Shuang fined $46 million for tax evasion, shows banned
Published: Aug 27, 2021 02:18 PM
Zheng Shuang Photo:VCG

Zheng Shuang Photo:VCG

Chinese surrogacy scandal actress Zheng Shuang was ordered to pay 299 million yuan ($46 million) in fines, taxes and penalties for tax evasion on Friday, and was also banned from participating in all shows by the National Radio and Television Administration. 

Of the total amount, Zheng was ordered by the Shanghai Municipal Tax Service to pay fines for tax evasion of nearly 220 million yuan, and taxes of 72 million yuan. 

Immediately after the Shanghai tax authority's announcement, the National Radio and Television Administration announced that the TV drama A Chinese Ghost Story, which Zheng starred in, was banned from broadcasting and all broadcasters and video service platforms are prohibited to invite Zheng for shows. The current shows which Zheng participated in were asked to stop broadcasting. 

Since Thursday night, several TV dramas Zheng acted in have been removed from major video platforms.

The administration said it holds a zero-tolerance policy on tax evasion and high price payments in the film industry which violated laws and disturbed the industry's order. 

According to the Shanghai tax authority, Zheng received her payment of 160 million yuan for starring in the TV drama A Chinese Ghost Story through tax evasion, signing fake contacts and submitting counterfeited materials to the tax authority. 

The Shanghai tax authority said that Zheng has paid all taxes and penalties within the prescribed time limit, and the tax authority is asking her to pay all the fines. If she fails to pay the fines within the prescribed time limit, she will be handled by the public security organs.

Zheng was probed after her ex-husband Zhang Heng reported her for tax evasion in April. Zhang was found to have helped Zheng evade tax in the TV drama, and the tax authority said it is probing Zhang in a separate case.

The couple came under public spotlight after Zhang accused Zheng of abandoning their two surrogate babies in the US earlier this year.

Also on Friday, several other celebrities either had their works removed from major video platforms or had their companies cancel registration, although the exact reasons for why remain unknown. 

Chinese billionaire actress Zhao Wei's name was removed from many of the works she starred in on major Chinese video platforms since Thursday night, and many of the films, talk shows and TV series she acted in were also removed.

According to data from Chinese corporate database Tianyancha, Taiwan actress Ruby Lin's studio in Hengdian, Zhejiang Province has cancelled registration. 

Ruby Lin's agent replied to Taiwan news site on Friday that her studio has applied for cancelation long ago out of "resource integration," and her work in the Chinese mainland has not been affected. 

One of musician and show host Gao Xiaosong's work, Xiaosong Pedia, was removed from iQiyi on Friday, and the reason was yet to be announced. 

The Shanghai tax authority will strengthen inspections on tax evasion involving celebrities to further regulate the tax administration order in the film industry. 

Prior to Zheng, Chinese actress Fan Bingbing was fined about 883 million yuan for tax evasion and other offences in 2018. 

Global Times