Taiwanese actress Zhang Ting refutes rumors of spending $27M on Dubai villas

By Nguyen Huong   February 1, 2024 | 10:13 pm PT
Actress Zhang Ting issued a statement through her lawyer denying rumors that she and her husband, actor Lin Ruiyang, acquired six houses in Dubai for US$27 million.
Taiwanese actress Zhang Ting. Photo from Zhangs fanclubs Weibo

Taiwanese actress Zhang Ting. Photo from Zhang's fanclub's Weibo

Chinese news site Ifeng reported that the statement put out by Zhang’s lawyer stressed that she and Lin had not purchased any Dubai real estate, labeling the circulating information as false.

"My clients [Zhang and Lin] have not purchased any property in Dubai," read the statement. "The circulated information is gravely incorrect."

Speculation that the couple paid cash for the houses, bypassing bank loans, emerged on social media on Wednesday. This sparked a frenzy, particularly on Weibo, where the subject garnered millions of interactions. Among the widespread reactions, a prevalent view was that Zhang and Lin were expanding their wealth following the unfreezing of their assets by Chinese authorities, after allegations related to a pyramid scheme.

A photo of the couple in Dubai fueled further speculation, which Zhang’s lawyer also clarified had no connection to any property purchases.

The spotlight on Zhang and Lin’s wealth is not new, as the couple are alleged to own numerous properties globally. Reports in Chinese media previously suggested that Lin’s multi-level marketing business, co-owned with Zhang, generated 30 billion yuan (US$4.2 billion) within eight years.

The couple’s assets, including bank accounts, were temporarily frozen in 2021 amid an investigation into their business practices, with the freeze lifted at the end of 2023.

Zhang, 54, who debuted at age nine, became renowned for her roles in historical dramas such as "The Switch," "Fairy of the Chalice," and "The Empress of China." Coming from a modest background, she once expressed a fervent desire to achieve financial success.

Lin, 64, known for his roles in adaptations of Taiwanese author Chiung Yao’s novels, retired from acting in 1999 and later ventured into business in mainland China, focusing on real estate and beauty products.

Reports indicate the couple owns a villa near the Huangpu River in Shanghai, valued at no less than US$30.9 million, and a 19-story building in Shanghai’s Xuhui core urban district, estimated at US$263.5 million.

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