Top Chinese actresses Zheng Shuang and Zhao Wei have been censored from all social media and streaming sites in the country, in what seems to be a crackdown on the entertainment industry by Beijing. The actresses were punished for “failing to file taxes.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Zheng Shuang, from the hit series Meteor Shower, was slapped with a $46.1 million fine for not being transparent about the income she earned while filming a TV show in the financial year between 2019 and 2020.
As reported by the AFP, China’s media regulator, the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television, pulled down the TV show from streaming sites and advised production companies not to work with Zheng in future projects, insisting it has a “zero tolerance” tax evasion policy.
On Thursday, actress Zhao Wei, aka Vicky Zhao, had her name removed from all content featuring her, including TV, film, TV appearances, and chat shows on streaming sites. All social media content discussing her was also removed.
Zhao featured in the hit film Shaolin Soccer, and featured in other popular films, like Lost in Hong Kong and My Fair Princess.
She had since put her acting career on hold and turned into investing. Zhao is also the Chinese brand ambassador of Fendi, an Italian fashion brand.
According to China’s state news outlet The Global Times, no official communication had been provided on why Zhao was deleted from the internet and streaming sites. However, the outlet speculated it had something to do with a history of financial irregularities and other scandals. In 2018, Zhao and her husband were banned from the Shanghai Stock Exchange.