Beijing set out to curb the “chaotic fan culture” and celebrity abuse of its notoriety in the wake of a series of scandals in recent months that have hit some of China’s most prominent players in the entertainment world. Among them was singer Chris Wu, who was arrested earlier this month for alleged rape.
On Friday, the Shanghai tax office allocated Zheng Shuan 299 million. yuan (€ 39.2 million) for tax evasion and undeclared income for 2019-2020 when it was filmed in one TV series, according to a statement posted on the institution’s website.
Zheng Shuan, 30, became famous in China, starring in the hugely popular 2009 series Rain of Falling Stars, as well as in other later series and films.
China’s state broadcaster regulator has also banned the show “Rain of Falling Stars” and ordered producers not to hire Zheng Shuan for future projects.
The state radio, film and television administration added a policy of “zero tolerance” for tax evasion, “sky-royalties” and “in-jan contracts”, meaning opaque employment contracts often used by the Chinese entertainment world to disguise real actors’ earnings.
The state media has recently been very active in calling for a change in China’s entertainment industry culture.
“For some time now, artists’ moral declines and violations of the law, the cult of younger goddesses and ‘chaotic’ circles of fans have been receiving widespread public attention,” the state broadcaster CCTV said on Tuesday.
“We must restore a clean literary and artistic environment for society,” the television added.
As of Thursday night, the major video streaming platforms have also removed any references to Zhao Wei, a hugely popular actress also known as Vicky Zhao.
Her name was quickly removed from the popular TV series subtitles, and one forum on the actress’ work and life on the Weibo social network was also enigmatically closed. At that time, the flagship “Zhao Wei supertema closed” received 850 million. views.
No formal explanation for these actions was provided.
However, Zhao Wei and her husband were banned from trading on the Shanghai Stock Exchange earlier this year. The decision relates to an attempt in 2016 to take over the management of one company, according to the services, which “disrupted the market order”.
China’s cyberspace surveillance agency issued a new order on Friday banning celebrity ratings and tightening restrictions on “chaotic” celebrity fan clubs and management agencies.
Video streaming platform iQiyi said it suspended all talent contests on Thursday. At the time, one Chinese guys ’pop group, most of whose members are schoolchildren, announced earlier this week that it was closing down due to public outrage over the age of the performers.