Chinese live-streamer Ping Rong, 29 years old, has become the latest online influencer targeted by local authorities for tax evasion.

In an announcement on February 22nd, Guangdong authorities said the e-commerce host has been dishonest on her earnings from her live-streaming activities between 2019 and 2020.

Following the charges, Ping must pay 62 million yuan in penalties (about 9.8 million dollars). Her live-streaming e-commerce account on Kuaishou became inaccessible shortly after the announcement of her penalties. She has a fan base of approximately 24 million subscribers on the video platform Kuaishou Technology.

Ping is the latest among multiple other big names in the booming industry to be penalized after the Chinese authorities announced a tax crackdown on top entertainers last September. A year-end deadline to rectify taxes arrears was set, and more than 1,000 individuals in the live-streaming sector have rushed to pay off the money.

Ping’s penalties came after she failed to follow authorities’ instructions for “self-rectification,” the Guangdong tax officials said.

The heaviest fines on Chinese influencers by far is the case of Viya, who was penalized last December a record 210 million dollars for tax evasion. On the e-commerce platform Taobao, she is well-known for hosting a popular shopping stream and being capable of selling almost anything.

According to online classifieds platform, live streaming is already the highest-paying job for recent Chinese graduates and a critical marketing channel for many foreign and domestic brands in the world’s largest e-commerce market.

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