Dec 20, 2021 09:04 PM

Update: Record $210 Million Fine Fires Warning Shot Over Livestreamers

Huang Wei. Photo: VCG
Huang Wei. Photo: VCG

In hitting top livestreamer Huang Wei with a record $210 million fine, China’s tax authorities fired a warning shot over the booming but underregulated sector and for the first time clarified a loophole that multiple performers have tried to use to avoid taxes.

Huang, known online as “Weiya,” evaded taxes mainly by concealing commission income, setting up multiple sole-proprietorship companies and partnerships and reporting the commission income and spot fees as more lightly taxed business income, the tax authorities said Monday in a statement. Officials ruled that commissions and spot fees paid by brands to livestreamers are remuneration for labor services that are subject to higher tax rates and can’t be treated as business income.

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