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Chinese actress Zheng Shuang fined US$46m for tax evasion

This comes from her failure to declare 191 million yuan (US$29.5 million) in earnings between 2019 and 2020.  

Chinese actress Zheng Shuang fined US$46m for tax evasion
Chinese actress Zheng Shuang has been hit with a 299 million yuan (US$46.2 million) fine for tax evasion. (Photo: AFP)

Chinese actress Zheng Shuang is facing yet another controversy, just seven months after her surrogacy scandal.

The 30-year-old was ordered on Friday (Aug 27) by China’s State Tax Administration (STA) to pay a fine of 299 million yuan (US$46.2 million) for tax evasion. This comes from her failure to disclose 191 million yuan in earnings between 2019 and 2020 – including for her role in the TV series A Chinese Ghost Story.

The South China Morning Post quoted a spokesperson for the STA who said that the complicated case “involves multiple regions, multiple companies and multiple performing arts projects across the country”.

“Over the past four months, comprehensive and in-depth inspections have been conducted on Zheng Shuang’s use of the ‘yin and yang contract’ for suspected tax evasion,” the spokesperson added. Yin and yang contracts involve having a real contract that defines the true salary, and another one with a lower salary that is submitted to the tax authorities.

Actress Fan Bingbing was convicted in 2018 of the same thing and was fined 883 million yuan for tax evasion.

Zheng’s producer, Beijing Culture, was also warned and fined 600,000 yuan for false transfer of its investment shares in TV dramas. 

According to the STA, Zheng is unlikely to face criminal charges if she pays the fine.

Earlier this year, Zheng, who rose to fame after starring in the 2009 remake of Taiwanese drama Meteor Shower, was involved in a surrogacy scandal when she was accused by her former partner, producer Zhang Heng, of abandoning their two unborn children in America.

Zhang was initially part of the tax evasion scheme but later helped the tax authorities make their case against Zheng.

China is cracking down on celebrities who have acted in a morally suspect way. This includes singer Kris Wu, who was accused last month of rape, and actor Zhang Zhehan, who caused upset when he visited Japanese war shrines. Actress Zhao Wei has also had all mentions of her scrubbed from the country’s Internet.

Source: CNA/sr