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Just before the opening of the 17th annual New York Asian Film Awards, the People’s Republic of China has come down hard on the wages of actors and actresses.

Citing pervasive tax evasion and “money worship” within the film industry, officials have capped actor pay at 40 percent of the total production cost. Lead actors and actresses also cannot receive more than 70 percent of the cast’s total pay. There was no rule for how the salary restrictions will be enforced.

Television and film viewers in China are used to the government getting involved in their entertainment. China is known for its censorship in terms of language and content, including within the journalism field.

According to BBC reporter Stephen McDonell, “Rather than connecting to the internet, this country has something more like an intranet within the boundaries of the Great Firewall of China.

Sites like Amnesty International, Facebook, and Twitter are unreachable for most Chinese, unless they have use of a virtual private network (VPN), which effectively punts their computer over the Great Firewall.”

The tax evasion issue refers to an actor/actress signing two contracts, and the one with the lower amount is submitted to the government.

According to China’s Federation of Film, the top 10 highest-paid actresses of 2018 are Yang Mi, Sun Li, Fan Bingbing; Zhang Ziyi, Bai Baihe, Angelababy, Tang Wei, Zhao Liying, Dilireba and Zheng Shuang.

Lamar Green


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