Thank you for making billions, here is a US$210m tax bill.
“China’s top livestreamer fined $210m for dodging tax, warning to others.”
Talk about a bad day at work.
Imagine you are a livestreamer and happily making good money doing your thing online.
Then the government comes along and finds out that you have been avoiding tax.
They shame you, blacklist you, make you vanish on social media, send the police to hound you and then slam you with a US $210m tax bill.
It is unbelievable how swiftly they move.
“According to reports, her online platforms, including her livestream link on Taobao along with her Weibo account, appear to have been removed.”
Talk about erasing someone off the face of the earth.
The amount of the fine is unbelievable.
The fact that a livestreamer can even make that kind of money to even have a tax bill that big is also unbelievable.
Who the livestreamer was is also unbelievable.
Turns out, there could only be one influencer who can command a tax bill that gargantuan.
Viya, who’s real name is Huang Wei, is a self-made billionaire.
With a net worth of US$1.25 billion, she is among China’s wealthiest 500 individuals.
She sold a rocket launch in 2020 for US$5.6m.
She sold nearly US$1.33B of products on China’s most popular e-commerce day — the Singles’ Day shopping festival.
Everything she does is staggering.
She has a team of 200 people.
She has an entire building for her team and other livestreamers to work out of, storing products and testing them.
She ships thousands of products weekly.
From hair-combs to cars, nothing is out of her purview.
She really can sell ice to an eskimo.
Her fans are frenzied and religious too.
They can’t miss her livestreams and will really listen to her advice and recommendations on products.
That is power you can’t buy.
She might be more popular and influential that certain politicians.
Just a decade ago, such things were unthinkable.
What amazes me is how does the authorities uncover and calculate her taxes exactly?
China has a progressive tax system that ranges from 3% to 45%.
For people making more than 80k RMB a month, which Viya definitely falls under, its a whopping 45%!
That is half the dough you make.
I feel her pain.
At least she is sorry for it and will pay up the hefty fine.
Authorities were clear that this will send a strong warning to everyone else and that they are dead serious when it comes to following the rules.
With great money comes great taxes it seems.
Such is the wonderful world we live in today.
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