Chinese actor Deng Lun fined $16.6 million for tax evasion
Published: Mar 15, 2022 07:36 PM
Chinese actor Deng Lun is fined $16.6 million for tax evasion on March 15, 2022. Photo:VCG

Chinese actor Deng Lun is fined $16.6 million for tax evasion on March 15, 2022. Photo:VCG

Chinese actor Deng Lun was punished for tax evasion and fined 106 million yuan ($16.6 million), according to Shanghai tax authorities on Tuesday. Deng's case was initially uncovered through the analysis of tax big data. 

The 30-year-old actor, with more than 40 million followers on Chinese social media platform Sina Weibo, later posted a statement apologizing for his behavior. "I have deeply reflected on myself. I am willing to undertake all the responsibilities and consequences," he said. 

Deng's personal accounts on Weibo and Douyin, China's short video platform, along with his studio's accounts, were later suspended. 

Shanghai's tax authority said in a report that the authorities have reminded and urged Deng during the investigation but the rectification work was still not thorough. The authorities later launched a comprehensive and in-depth tax inspection into the case. 

Deng evaded personal income tax of 47.66 million yuan and underpaid personal income tax of 13.99 million yuan between 2019 and 2020 by making false declarations, said the report.

The report said Deng actively "cooperated with the inspection" and took the initiative to pay back 44.55 million yuan of tax, while actively reporting other tax-related illegal acts that have not been found. 

Finally, a total of 106 million yuan in taxes, late fees and fines were finally levied on the actor. 

The news became the most trending topic on Sina Weibo within 30 minutes after the report was issued, racking up 460 million views. 

In an immediate action, Viomi Technology and L'Oreal announced they would terminate their partnerships with Deng. 

As one of the most popular actors in China, Deng is also known to some people from other countries for his TV drama Ashes of Love, which was to be broadcast on Netflix and also be introduced to countries including South Korea, Japan and Thailand.

The tax authorities said it will continue to strengthen the tax regulation in the entertainment industry and conducted joint investigation into brokerage companies, brokers and intermediaries that assisted them in tax evasion. 

In December, 2021, China's top livestreamer Huang Wei, also known as Viya, was fined 1.34 billion yuan for dodging taxes. In August, 2021, Chinese actress Zheng Shuang was ordered to pay 299 million yuan in fines, taxes and penalties for tax evasion. In October, 2018, Chinese actress Fan Bingbing was ordered to pay more than 800 million yuan in tax and fines. 

Global Times