Chinese actress Zheng Shuang faces 3 years in jail over asset transfer allegations

By Linh Le   April 8, 2024 | 12:05 am PT
A legal expert indicated Zheng Shuang could face three years in jail if it is proven that she hid assets to evade paying 90.5 million yuan (US$12.5 million) in compensation to a production company.
Chinese actress Zheng Shuang. Photo from Instagram/shuang0822love

Chinese actress Zheng Shuang. Photo from Instagram/shuang0822love

The South China Morning Post reported that legal documents made public on April 1 by Tianyancha, a provider of information on Chinese enterprises, declared that the actress possessed no assets and was thus bankrupt.

This disclosure of Zheng’s bankruptcy has ignited widespread conjecture across social media platforms regarding the potential for asset transfers intended to evade payment to a film and television investment company located in Haining, Zhejiang province, Eastern China.

The entity sued Zheng three years ago, claiming that the actress’ legal violations, including tax evasion and participation in surrogacy, purportedly disrupted the production of "Jade Lover," a television series produced by the company starring Zheng in the lead role.

In 2023, a judicial order required Zheng to pay the complainant 90.5 million yuan, including 30.5 million yuan the actress received for her participation in "Jade Lover" and an additional 60 million yuan for damages.

According to East Money, the Shanghai Songjiang District People’s Court ruled on April 1, subsequent to the announcement of Zheng’s bankruptcy, that she is currently without sufficient assets to settle the compensation.

Legal expert Zhao Liangshan, affiliated with the Shaanxi Hengda Law Firm, has posited that should verification occur that Zheng intentionally obscured or relocated assets to dodge repayment, she could be found guilty of China’s Criminal Law. This could lead to a maximum of three years’ incarceration, detention, or a monetary penalty.

Before her legal troubles came to light, Zheng, 33, was celebrated as a top actress in China.

The issue of her surrogacy came into the spotlight in 2021 when her former partner Zhang Heng, 34, disclosed their surrogacy agreements in the U.S. and accused her of planning to abandon the child as their relationship worsened.

Moreover, Zheng was hit with a fine of 299 million yuan for tax evasion in the same year.

Further reports have shown that she has moved to the U.S. and finds herself on the list of "dishonest citizens," facing limitations on her spending. These restrictions include bans on booking flights, securing high-speed train tickets, and staying in five-star hotels.

In February, the actress stated that she had run out of money and was living off her parents’ pension. She declared her intention to make money and pay off her debts as ordered by the court.

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