China Fines Livestreamer US$14.6 Million as Tech Regulation Expands

若离

若离

· 11月23日

The tax authority's fine for two liverstreamers charged with tax dodge came after China's top market regulator fined Alibaba and many other tech giants for antitrust violation.

BEIJING, November 22 (TMTPOST)— China is expanding regulation on the tech industry to a booming sector e-commerce livestreaming. The local authority of Hangzhou city, the capital of China’s e-commerce heartland Zhejiang province, fined two livestreamers for tax evasion right after the country’s top market regulator imposed new penalties on a number of tech giants for antitrust violation.

Source: Visual China

The Tax Inspection Bureau of the Taxation Bureau of Hangzhou city announced to fine Zhu Chenhui and Lin Shanshan, two inflencers who found to dodge tax through big data analysis a total of more than RMB93.22 million (US$14.6 million) on Monday. Both Zhu and Lin’s penalties include payments to recover their owing tax and overdue fines as well as a fine of one time the evaded tax amount. These two dodgers had set up many individual proprietorship enterprises from 2019 to 2020 and fabricated businesses to mask all of their wages and remuneration for personal services under the cover of corporate income, so as to evade more than RMB30.36 million (US$4.75 million) and RMB13.11 million (US$2.05 million) respectively, according to the bureau. Besides Zhu and Lin, the authority is also investigating other liverstreamers who have activities in cultural and entertainment industries  and are suspected of tax evasion.  

Zhu and Lin later that day made apologies for tax dodge and said they determined to halt livestreaming without disclosing definite resuming date. Livestreaming shall not turn into a grey area in taxation and experts deemed the enforcement of Hangzhou tax authority as a move to promote healthy and sustainable development of the industry, instead of a “crackdown”, a report of the state media Xinhua News Agency commented.

The penalty came after one day after the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) unveiled its punishment for a slew of major tech companies over the weekend. The regulator listed 43 cases that the firms had not declared their mergers or acquisitions and violated provisions of concentration of business under China’s Anti-Monopoly Law, which target operators’ practice that exclude or restrict competition. All of companies involved in these cases, including Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, Didi Chuxing, JD.com, were each fined RMB500,000 (US$78,000).

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