Vicky Zhao, Shu Qi each ordered to return $8 million after Fan Bingbing's tax evasion scandal

Vicky Zhao, Shu Qi each ordered to return $8 million after Fan Bingbing's tax evasion scandal
PHOTO: Internet

Fan Bingbing's headline-grabbing tax evasion case has shaken up China's entertainment industry, and it appears authorities are closing in on other stars as well.

The spotlight has since been cast on television programmes with big-name artistes who appear as hosts or guests.

One such programme is Chinese Restaurant 2, media reports stated.

The reality show broadcast by Hunan Television features Chinese actress Vicky Zhao and Taiwanese actress Shu Qi and actor Alec Su among its regular guests.

The trio was each paid a reported 50 million yuan (S$10 million) for the show's second season, according to Taiwanese media.

Based on new regulations by the state, artistes on TV programmes cannot be paid more than 10 million yuan (S$2 million) per season.

According to sources, both actresses have each been ordered by the National Radio and Television administration to return $8 million from their coffers.

Of the pair, Zhao was reported to have done so without hesitation, while Shu Qi displayed some reluctance.

However, she complied after long-time friend Zhao called her up to persuade her, sources say.

The media also speculated that Chinese singer Faye Wong may be the next target of investigators, after reportedly pocketing 300 million yuan ($60 million) for her participation in a musical reality competition, Phantacity.

Wong has not issued a statement on the matter while the spokesperson for Shu Qi did not respond to media queries.

In a statement on Wednesday (Oct 3), China's State Administration of Taxation announced Wednesday (Oct 3) that Fan Bingbing must pay more than 800 million yuan in taxes, fines, and overdue charges, China Daily reported.

Fan later issued a letter of apology expressing regret for her actions on her Weibo account. The post was forwarded 174,000 times within 8 hours.

One of the most popular comments read: "Hope you really mean you regret your mistakes, instead of pretending to regret under public pressure. Other stars should examine their own deeds, too."

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