China blocks top social media influencer over tax evasion issues

A well-known Chinese online streaming star, Huang Wei, widely called Viya, has been ordered to pay a fine of some $210 million for failure to pay taxes.

Viya, a celeb on the net, has a following of 18 million. The online streamer has proven to be an expert in online sales, prudently utilizing her platform for the sale of many items.

Officials in China have charged Viya for not reporting her earnings, in addition to committing several financial misdeeds during the 2019-2020 period.

Viya, writing on the Weibo platform, admitted to being “deeply sorry”.
“I thoroughly accept the punishment made by the tax authorities,” Viya said in a post.

Viya, age 36, emerged as the Chinese personality with the largest following on the net, driven chiefly by web-based shopping, which has grown at a spectacular rate.

Viya, nicknamed the live-streaming queen, has been skillful at selling a gamut of items from edibles to even a rocket launch on Taobao, a major Chinese online retail platform.

She was scheduled to host a sales event for cosmetics on the evening of December 20th, prior to her streaming handle going offline, as per information furnished by Reuters.
Viya was ranked among the top one hundred influential figures in 2021 by Time magazine.

The hashtag — #ViyaCompletelyBlockedOnline — made the rounds on major Chinese microblogging service Sina Weibo, with retailers now looking to separate from Viya.

Though she had 18 million followers on Weibo, she has since been de-listed.

The Global Times in Beijing reported that Viya’s being penalized was a “warning to others”.