Two Chinese influencers were fined by local tax regulators in Hangzhou due to tax evasion amid the Chinese government's tightened control over livestreaming eCommerce. Tax regulators in Hangzhou said they had discovered the cases through a big data analysis system where both live streamers Zhu Chenhui (pictured left) and Lin Shanshan (pictured right) were suspected of tax evasion.
After investigation, the regulators said Zhu had converted the income worth ¥84.5 million earned through at least six company partnerships from her personal income to the businesses' revenue, to evade taxes worth ¥30.4 million. She was fined ¥65.5 million. On the other hand, Lin used similar measures to evade taxes. The regulators said Lin had converted the income worth ¥42 million gained through at least four companies from her personal income, to the businesses' revenue to evade taxes worth ¥13.1 million. She was fined ¥27.7million.
Both of them apologised on Weibo and explained that they made the error as they were busy on their business and did not have enough "knowledge about taxes." Zhu and Lin added that they will suspend livestreaming without telling the public when they will resume their business. The Tax regulators also shard that both of the live steamers were cooperative after the investigation had started, and were willing to pay part of the tax before the conclusion of the investigation, which proved that they had the intention to lower the influence of their behaviours against the laws.
The Chinese government has been tightening the control over livestreaming. The National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA) rolled out guidelines for the entertainment industry for the next five years. Although it did not specify the types of new rules, but the NRTA said the livestreaming sector will face a more tightened control.
Livestreamers in China are popular among the public and they can collaborate with notable brands for lucrative income.
Most recently, another controversial livestreaming incident came up as Li Jiaqi and Viya partnered with L'Oreal to sell facial masks on livestreaming platforms during the 11.11 shopping festival. The products weretouted to be the biggest discount of the year during pre-sale events. However, some consumers later discovered the same masks were sold cheaper through L'Oreal's own livestreaming event.
While Li and Viya sold a combined ¥18.9 billion worth of goods on 20 October, both of them announced their suspension of partnership with L'Oreal until the issue was solved. They said they would also compensate consumers if the company did not offer satisfactory solutions within 24 hours. On his Weibo, Li said he believed that customers trusted livestreaming events because of the efforts made by influencers and brands. He said that he believed L’Oreal would pay attention to customers’ demands and legitimate rights and interests, adding that he believed L’Oreal would settle the incident.
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