regular-article-logo Friday, 29 September 2023

China’s Internet celebrity Viya fined for tax evasion

The country's 'queen of livestreaming' has been asked to pay 1.34 billion yuan ($210.16 million)

Reuters Beijing Published 21.12.21, 02:42 AM
Internet celebrity Viya.

Internet celebrity Viya. Twitter/@AlbumGba

China’s “queen of livestreaming” has been fined 1.34 billion yuan ($210.16 million) for tax evasion, tax authorities said on Monday.

Internet celebrity Viya, whose real name is Huang Wei, was fined for hiding personal income and other offences in 2019 and 2020, according to the tax bureau in Hangzhou, a city in southern China.


She later apologised. “I’m deeply sorry about my violations of the tax laws and regulations,” she said on her Weibo account.

“I thoroughly accept the punishment made by the tax authorities.”

Viya, 36, is known for her ability to sell “anything” via livestreaming on the Taobao Live platform. Last year, she sold a rocket launch service for 40 million yuan.

In a recent online shopping festival known as Singles’ Day, she sold products worth a total of 8.5 billion yuan in one evening, according to media reports.

Viya is the latest celebrity livestreamer to get caught up in a broad crackdown that initially targeted tech monopolies but has since gone on to take aim at private education, social media platforms, and the culture of celebrity. Before the crackdown, tax evasion, an age-old practice among China’s celebrities, had already sunk the career of several well-known figures.

Follow us on: