A Chinese influencer known as the “queen of livestreaming” has been ordered to pay $204 million for tax evasion, authorities said Monday, the biggest Fine of its kind in Beijing’s crackdown on celebrities. Huang Wei, known by her username Viya, is one of China’s most popular e-commerce influencers with over 110 million followers on social media.
Tax authorities in the eastern province of Zhejiang said that between 2019 and 2020 she “evaded 643 million yuan of taxes through means such as concealing personal income and false declarations of income.”The authorities said that a total of 1.341 billion yuan was imposed on Huang Wei in the collection of taxes, additional late fees and Fine. Beijing launched a broader crackdown on tax evasion and immoral behavior in the entertainment industry earlier this year that has also impacted online influencers and celebrity fan groups.
Two Chinese livestreamers were Fine $14 million by Zhejiang tax authorities. Viya posted a lengthy apology on the Twitter-like social media platform Weibo. She added that during the investigation, I realized my actions indeed violated tax laws and regulations, I am very remorseful and apologize to the public.
Viya was previously Fine 530,000 yuan ($83,000) in June for violating advertisement laws, after fans accused her of allegedly hawking counterfeit products. During the wider crackdown, a series of scandals took down some of China’s biggest entertainers.Zheng Shuang was hit with a $46 million for tax evasion.