Celebrities face taxing times

Central Station | Charlotte Luo 6 Dec 2018

Seventeen high-profile celebrities are currently in focus for tax evasion investigations in the mainland.

China Central Television host Lin Yun took to Weibo to post the names: Yang Mi, Huang Xiaoming, Yang Ying (Angelababy), Zhao Liying, Deng Chao, Sun Li, Zhao Wei, Wu Yifan, Dilraba Dilmurat, Zhang Ziyi, Wang Feng, Lu Han, Huang Bo, Wu Jing, Xu Zheng, Chen Sicheng and Tong Liya.

A person who also claims to have inside knowledge says investigators have conducted several rounds of interviews with hundreds of celebrities.

It started with movie star Fan Bingbing, who struck a multi-million-yuan settlement deal with authorities and professed to be ashamed of her tax-evasion tactics.

Then 150 people were caught up in a wave of questioning, and they have been followed by another 200.

Just how much money could be involved in the tax-evasion cases is anyone's guess, but some names and sums are being bandied about, with the named 17 figuring somewhere.

Notable reports include "a man who is in performing arts and runs businesses" needing to find up to 600 million yuan (HK$683 million) and a "male star of film and television" in the frame to pay 140 million yuan.

One male celebrity is said to have burst into tears when being questioned - and it was no act.

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