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In recent years, Viya has emerged as powerful force in livestream ecommerce, a new shopping method that has taken China by storm and dwarfed traditional ecommerce activities. On the evening of Oct. 20 alone, Viya sold $1.3 billion worth of products in her livestream. She has also become an entertainment celebrity, even performing for the most important national holiday celebration.
Among all livestream influencers, Viya not only stood out for her sales numbers but also for how closely she has aligned with China's government. She was co-opted as a member of the All-China Youth Federation and won a National Poverty Alleviation Award for the voluntary work she has done in promoting China’s rural ecommerce products.
According to Zhejiang Provincial Tax Service, from 2019 to 2020 Viya failed to report taxes mounting $110 million. Her $210 million fine includes the unpaid taxes, late fees and penalties.
Beijing has been increasingly cracking down on tax evasions by prominent influencers as the sky-high sales numbers have attracted public attention. Last month, two other A-level livestream influencers have also been fined heavily and suspended on social media for tax evasion.