July 1, 2022

China: December 31, the ultimatum given to celebrities and influencers to pay their taxes

On Monday, December 20, China gave its celebrities and internet stars ten days to come into good standing with the tax administration after a heavy fine for fraud against an influencer, in a context of takeover of the entertainment sector .

On Monday, influencer Viya, very prominent in China for her “tele-shopping” 2.0 videos, was pinned for tax evasion and ordered to pay the record sum of 1.3 billion yuan (118 billion CFA francs). “The stars of the show, the livestreamers and other public figures must strictly comply with the provisions of the tax law”, lambasted several tax offices, including those in Beijing and Shanghai.

All of them are in charge of numerous showbiz employees and companies. “It is the duty of every citizen to pay taxes”, hammered the tax administration in a note published Wednesday. On Monday 20, she gave celebrities up to “the end of the year”, that is to say 10 days, to put in order, and threatens of “heavy” sanctions. Viya disappeared from the country’s main social networks on Tuesday, the day after his conviction for tax evasion.

The influencer business in China

With more than 618 million Internet users, 90% of whom have at least one account on a social network, the China is one of the most connected countries in the world. These Internet users are as many potential consumers that the brands seek to seduce.

The latter have thus seized the Chinese social networks that reign supreme on the web: Weibo, WeChat and QQ. The latest case studies show that with 340 million monthly active users, Weibo is ahead of its US competitor, Twitter, which tops out at 328 million. QQ and WeChat, two mobile messaging applications, together have more than 1.5 billion monthly active users.

Who are the Chinese influencers?

In China, 4 main types of influencers prioritize the digital ecosystem:

Celebrities

Actors, singers, entertainers… Celebrities have a strong national reputation and, as such, significantly increase the memorization of an advertising message. Fan Bing Bing, the most popular singer and actress in China, is the face of the Louis Vuitton, L’Oréal and Häagen-Dazs brands.

Macro-influencers or “Wanghong”

Like Cyprien, leader of the new generation of comedians 2.0 in France, Papi Jiang broadcasts humorous podcasts. Voted “number 1 celebrity” in this field, she is regularly approached by brands for product placements.

Bloggers or KOL (Key Opinion Leaders)

Considered as experts, even as sources of information in their field, bloggers are supported by large communities who rely on their recommendations to convert their purchasing intentions into positive actions.

Micro-influencers

Like bloggers, they specialize in one area (fashion, beauty, digital, etc.) but benefit from the support of a smaller subscriber base.