August 16, 2022

China’s tax regulatory authorities orders the country’s celebrities and livestreamers to report tax-related crimes before 2022. The move comes just days after renowned livestreaming star, Viya was fined 1.34 billion yuan ($210 million) for tax evasion.

According to reports, on Monday top e-commerce livestreamer Viya, whose real name is Huang Wei, was fined by the tax bureau in Hangzhou for hiding personal income and other offences in 2019 and 2020.

China’s tax officials from most economically prosperous cities and provinces after seeing the news update had ordered livestreamers and celebrities to conduct a self-review of any tax-related wrongs, correct these issues, and then report to the relevant tax authorities. And simultaneously posted identical notices on their websites on Wednesday.

As per the notice – tax-related issues must be corrected and report proactively to the tax bureau before the end of 2021, to which the government in return may mitigate, lighten, or exempt tax penalties in accordance with the requirements. And in case the tax bureau finds the self-inspection and correction are refused or not thorough enough, it will deal with the matter in accordance with laws and regulations seriously.

Celebrities and livestreamers are the latest to have been caught up in a broad suppression by the government to pose an obstacle to its latest goal of reducing economic inequality and achieving the ‘common prosperity’ agenda.

China’s on-going tax evasion crackdowns have had already ruined the career of several well-known personalities in the entertainment industry. However, the latest notice only highlights the broad-ranging and systematic nature of the country’s so called common prosperity suppression.
China’s President Xi Jinping has called for the country to narrow a yawning wealth gap that threatens the country’s economic ascent and the legitimacy of Communist Party rule under the “common prosperity” norm.

According to reports, so far tax authorities have issued the warning to those from the city of Beijing, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Guangdong. These cities and provinces collectively host the vast majority of high-earning celebrities and livestreamers and comprises over half of the country’s GDP.

The central government’s State Taxation Administration earlier in September had issued a notice announcing measures to strengthen the country’s tax administration mainly in the entertainment sector, which includes livestreamers.