Viya, China’s “queen of livestreaming” has been hit with a RMB 1.34 billion ($210.16 million) fine for tax evasion. The tax bureau in the southern Chinese city of Hangzhou revealed that the penalty given to Viya, whose real name is Huang Wei, was due to hiding personal income and other offences in 2019 and 2020, reports Reuters.
Viya has apologized following the ruling. “I’m deeply sorry about my violations of the tax laws and regulations,” she said on her Weibo account. “I thoroughly accept the punishment made by the tax authorities.” Viya, 36, is known for her ability to sell “anything” via livestreaming on the Taobao Live platform. Last year, she sold a rocket launch service for RMB 40 million. In a recent online shopping festival known as Singles’ Day, she sold products worth a total of RMB 8.5 billion in one evening, according to media reports.
Viya is the latest celebrity livestreamer to get caught up in a broad crackdown that initially targeted tech monopolies but has since gone on to take aim at private education, social media platforms, and the culture of celebrity.