Some of the biggest Chinese stars have come under intense fire recently, with Fan Bingbing being hit with a massive tax-evasion scandal. Now, it's Huang Xiaoming's turn to be in the limelight for the wrong reason.
The actor, one of China's highest paid stars, is accused of manipulating stock prices - reportedly amounting to 1.8 billion yuan (S$358.9 million) - and investing in a scandal-riddled vaccine maker, allegations he has since denied and apologised for.
A Chinese financial news website first reported that Xiaoming was linked to well-known stock trader, Gao Yong, who was found guilty of manipulating stock prices. Of the 16 stock trading accounts used by Gao, one was owned by a person surnamed Huang, which the website identified on Aug 12 as Huang Xiaoming.
The 40-year-old actor released a detailed statement on Weibo on August 15, saying that he did not know Gao, and is not involved in stock manipulation or with Changsheng Bio-technology, the company that falsified data and sold substandard vaccines to children, a case that has ignited public anger.
"The so-called claim that 'Huang Xiaoming has manipulated 1.8 billion yuan' is pure rumor," he wrote. "I stress once again that I do not know Gao. My mother has managed my stock account and she entrusted the account to an agent whose surname is Lu, who then transferred it to Gao. It is Gao who decided the trading while my mother and I have not participated in the manipulation," Huang explained.
Xiaoming was reportedly questioned for three hours by Chinese investigators, but was not charged with any wrongdoing. On the other hand, Gao has been ordered to pay a penalty of nearly 1.8 billion yuan (S$358.9 million) by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC).
"My poor financial management led to the incident, which have had bad repercussions, for which I'm very sorry and I will definitely learn a lesson from it," added Xiaoming, who is married to Angelababy. They have a one-year-old son.
On his WeChat, the actor wrote, "I will survive for my parents, wife, and child. I tear up when I see their picture. Mom, I'm sorry.: He also added that he's grateful for the support of his friends and fans.