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Media Focus

Crackdown on Tax Evaders

Caixin Weekly December 21, 2021

By NewsChina Updated Mar.1

The platform economy and especially livestream sales have played an increasingly important role in driving China's economic growth, but malpractice and illegal activities have disturbed the market. The taxation bureaus of Zhejiang, Guangdong and Jiangsu provinces and those in Beijing and Shanghai released similar announcements in December 2021, demanding celebrities and livestreamers strictly follow China’s tax laws after a slew of tax evasion scandals. Hangzhou taxation bureau in Zhejiang Province recently ordered prominent livestreamer Huang Wei, known online as Viya, to pay 1.34 billion yuan (US$210m) in back taxes, late fees and fines for tax evasion. After scrutinizing her tax returns for 2019 and 2020, authorities found she had falsely declared her livestreaming commissions as revenue earned from fake businesses in multiple proprietorships and partnerships in Shanghai, evading or underpaying at least 643 million yuan (US$101m) in taxes. The wave of actions against tax evasion is expected to deal a huge blow to these nouveau riches and restore order in the industry.