The Chinese authorities are moving in quickly to clean up the film and TV industry in China.
Following their high-profiled takedown of top Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, who was slapped with a fine of more than S$95 million for evading taxes, it was revealed that several other Chinese programmes and stars are similarly affected by the Chinese authorities’ tightening control over their high paychecks.
One such programme is Chinese Restaurant 2, hosted by Vicki Zhao, Shu Qi, Alec Su, Karry Wang, Bai Jugang, and produced by Hunan TV.
According to China media reports, several artistes, including Vicki and Shu Qi, were forced to return millions of dollars after their salaries were discovered to be more than the stipulated amount allowed.
It was revealed that the total payment made to the stars on each episode of the programme should not exceed RMB 800,000 (approximately S$160,000), and long-term ‘guest stars’ are not allowed to be paid more than RMB 10 million (approximately S$2 million) per season.
However, the agreed amount that was to be paid to Vicki and Shu Qi for their participation in Chinese Restaurant 2 was revealed to be RMB 50 million (approximately S$10 million) each, surpassing the original allocated amount by RMB 40 million (approximately S$8 million).
Due to the tightening regulations, both actresses have been ordered by the National Radio and Television Administration to return the surplus of S$8 million.
Although Vicki complied with the orders, it took extra convincing on her part to persuade Shu Qi to do the same.
Another actress who reportedly pocketed a RMB 100 million (approximately S$20 million) paycheck for her participation in Hunan TV programme, PhantaCity, is Faye Wong. Although there have been no reports about Faye being ordered to return the extra S$9 million pocketed for her hosting gig at press time.
Photos: PBE Media
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