- Live streamer and e-commerce host Ping Rong had 24 million followers on video platform Kuaishou.
- The 29-year-old is the latest live streamer to be slapped with a fine for tax-related issues.
- It comes as China continues its scrutiny of the rich and famous in efforts to narrow the wealth gap.
Chinese influencer Ping Rong has been fined 62 million yuan ($9.8 million) for tax evasion — becoming the latest celebrity to be targeted as China continues its crackdown on the booming live-streaming industry.
The 29-year-old, who has 24 million followers on the short-form video platform Kuaishou, has been accused by China’s tax authorities of concealing her 2019 and 2020 live-
income. Ping’s account is no longer searchable on the app, per a search by Insider.
Last year, the e-commerce host was embroiled in a scandal after being caught hawking counterfeit mobile phones on her stream, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.
Ping is the latest live streamer to be slapped with a heavy fine for tax-related issues in recent months.
In November, two Hangzhou-based live streamers were fined $15 million for illegally booking employment income as business income, according to Bloomberg.
In December, one of China’s most famous live streamers, Viya, was given a record $210 million penalty for evading or underpaying millions in taxes.
That same month, more than 1,000 live streamers rushed to settle their back taxes before a year-end deadline in 2021, Insider reported.
According to estimates by consulting firm KPMG, China’s lucrative live streaming market was valued at approximately 1 trillion yuan in 2020, or $156 billion.
However, China has been ramping up its scrutiny of the rich and famous as part of a “common prosperity” drive to narrow the wealth gap.