The government of China is known for having a lot of control over the internet. The country has recently deleted the social media account of a popular influencer, who is known as the livestreaming queen. The move took away her motive of promoting honesty on the internet. This happened a day after she was asked to pay a $200m fine for tax evasion. The name of the influencer is Huang Wei and is known by her username Viya who is known as one of the China’s high-profile livestreamers in the e-commerce sector which has growth rapidly ever since the coronavirus pandemic broke.

She has more than 110 million followers on social media and she has also sold products worth 8.5bn yuan in one evening during the recent Singles’ Day shopping festival in China on November 11, 2021. However, on Monday the tax authorities in the eastern province of Zhejiang said that Viya had evaded 643m yuan of taxes between 2019 to 2020 and also alleged that she concealed personal income by making false declarations. The authorities announced a 1.3bn yuan penalty and were announced all over the Chinese media. The matter also became one of the most searched topics on Weibo on Monday. On the other hand Viya said that she would accept the decision given by the tax authorities. She added that she is remorseful and apologetic towards the public.

Later on December 21, 2021 her social media accounts vanished from the major online platforms. There were no results when users searched for her Weibo and Douyin accounts. Tax evasion matters among the celebrities is not new in China. Actor Fan Bingbing was provided with a $129m tax bill in 2018.

In recent times, Chinese actor Zheng Shuang was provided with a $46m fine for tax evasion. The tax authorities in recent times have increased the scrutiny towards the online influencers. Two other live streamers were fined by the government for $14m.

Photo Credits: Guardian