Chinese actor Li Yapeng owes employee 10 months of salary

By Nguyen Huong   May 14, 2024 | 11:09 pm PT
Chinese actor Li Yapeng owes employee 10 months of salary
Chinese actor Li Yapeng. Photo from Li's Weibo
An alleged former employee of Chinese actor Li Yapeng has publicly accused him of owing ten months’ worth of salary.

According to Sinchew, the person posted on Weibo, alleging that in addition to salaries, Li also failed to pay for social insurance.

He said he and Li met each other for the first time when he worked as a magazine editor in 2000, and the two became friends over time. Li later invited him to join his company, which plans live broadcasts on Douyin.

As a result, the accuser began helping Li by finding friends to film and edit videos for free. However, when they started making money through live streaming, Li replaced the team, began owing salaries, and stopped paying social insurance for employees, according to this person.

The accuser further stated that he had financially assisted Li multiple times, even borrowing millions of yuan (1 million yuan equals US$138,253) for the actor. However, Li "pretended to be blind and deaf" when reminded about the money.

When the accuser inquired about his salaries, Li disappeared, leading to frustration and the public exposure of the issue.

Li addressed the allegations on Monday during a live stream. He confirmed that one of his associates had resigned in early 2024 and promised to resolve that person’s unpaid salary soon. He also apologized to those who had to leave the company, thanking them for their tolerance and understanding.

"The good news is that after more than a year of hard work, we have basically paid over 90% of the compensation," he said. "I will continue to work harder."

Last year, Li admitted to financial struggles due to a 40 million yuan debt from real estate investments. He failed to repay a debt on time late last year and was issued a court order restricting expensive consumption.

The actor and his current wife Haiha Jinxi have been working hard to earn money, mainly through their live broadcasts, to pay off his debts. Haiha stated in April that her husband was repaying them but had not yet finished.

Once a top actor in China, Li gained fame for his roles in TV series and movies such as "The Singer" (1997), "Laughing in the Wind" (2001), "The Legend of the Condor Heroes" (2003), and "Eternal Moment" (2011). After a successful acting career, he transitioned to business in 2011.

Prior to his marriage to Haiha, Li was married to Hong Kong singer-actress Faye Wong. Following their daughter’s birth with a cleft lip in 2006, the couple established the Smile Angel Foundation to support children with similar conditions, according to China Radio International. They divorced in 2013.

Li then married Haiha in 2022. The couple has a two-year-old daughter.

Haiha, 34, rose to prominence after participating in the Miss World China contest in 2011 and has pursued a modeling career. She has also taken on minor roles in TV series and movies like "Yihai Alliance," "The Flower Blooming in the Moon," and "Under the Skin."

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