China to investigate alleged tax evasion in film industry

Photo: ECNS

China's State Administration of Taxation (SAT) has ordered local tax bureaus to start a probe into the so-called "twin contracts" among film celebrities after outspoken TV presenter and producer Cui Yongyuan on May 28 alleged that leading actress Fan Bingbing used this method to evade tax.

"Don't act, you really suck!" Cui posted on China's Twitter-like Weibo, along with screenshots of what appeared to be Fan's employment contract.

The document, which is blurred-out in places, states that Fan would earn 10 million yuan ($1.6 million) for just four days' work on a new movie and details several unconventional terms and conditions.

The barbs continued on May 29, when Cui revealed in another post that the 10 million yuan contract was in fact the smaller of twin contracts — the other being worth 50 million yuan which was signed to avoid tax payment.

In response, Fan's studio published a public statement on Weibo on the same day, saying "By exposing confidential contracts and publicly insulting Fan, Cui has not only violated business rules but is also suspected of infringing the legal rights of Fan."

The studio added that it had contacted a Beijing law firm and reserved the right to take legal action.

Cui's revelation has riled up the Chinese public, with some netizens showing their support to Cui's attack on Fan.

The SAT on June 3 ordered local tax bureaus to launch a thorough investigation into the twin-contract issue and vowed to take stronger measures against tax violations, CCTV reported.

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