Deng Lun May Owe 200 Million Yuan in Contract Violation Fees

After being found guilty of tax evasion, Deng Lun‘s (鄧倫) career may well be over. In addition to being fined, the actor’s brand endorsement contracts cut their ties. His television and film works were also taken off the shelves. After issuing an apology and seeing his career continue towards a downward slide, Deng Lun was spotted at the airport with his father looking solemn.

A company is allegedly suing Deng Lun for damages and financial losses. In addition to demanding the return of an endorsement fee of 12.8 million yuan, the company is also suing him for liquidated damages of 4.8 million yuan and losses of 530,000 yuan. Since Deng Lun had about 15 endorsement brands on hand before the scandal, he may potentially face payments of over 200 million yuan for contract violations.

The fall of one may mean the rise of another. With Deng Lun’s projects halted and marketability diminished, the industry has turned their attention to actor, Li Xian (李現). The 30-year-old has a positive image and boasts many similarities to Deng Lun, and recently co-starred with Liu Yifei (劉亦菲) in the television series Going to a Windy Place <去有風的地方>.


This article is written by Huynh for

Deng Lun Fined 106 Million Yuan for Tax Evasion

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  1. Why did he do this himself? I can never understand it. Hopefully he can come back someday. I really like him as an actor. I was so looking forward to his drama with Ni Ni.

    I’m wondering why you only mentioned Li Xian as positive image actor? There are plenty of other positive image male actors also.

    1. @Dramas4me To be honest, I am too very shock on why he did it….to put the blame on accountant and him not knowing will be unbelievable as the amount he owed is shocking. Every individual regardless which Country you live in, must abide the tax law. That is their responsibility as a working adult.
      I am deeply saddened by his downfall. As I really enjoy his projects. But he does need to bear his consequence. I just sincerely hope it applies to others doing the same deed. It will not be fair to just pick afew well known artists just to state a point. To be honest, I bet after he does pay everything off, I am sure he will still have money to live on comfortably. The amount of money a Popular artist make in China is Huge. He will not be a pauper.
      I was also looking forward to his drama with NI Ni!!!! Such a shame.

      1. I agree, but to be honest this was common practice for many years and more and more entertainers were doing so. I blame country’s system for letting it happen in the first place. They knew what is happening but allowed it to amass. You cannot really find entertainer that was not doing yin/yang contracts, distributing profits via several entities and reporting only part of it, as producers were asking for them as well. However, only few fell, carefully chosen few. This was standard industry practice for decades.

      2. Yes. I agree with you. It definitely was so wrong of him to cheat on taxes and to cheat that huge amount when FBB was a big example to see. It makes me very angry when people cheated on taxes especially wealthy people.

      3. @dee sorry but people will always try to break the law, if that means more wealths for themselves. That’s why there’s fines and punishments for those who try to break the law. It’s not fool proof? Also you can’t blame the system if such system has a leading example, FBB, to show other artists what will happen if you evade tax? Her incident has been way before he cheated the system. Yet he still willing to do it. It’s on him, not the system.

      4. @LittleFish fully agree with you, people will always cheat and I am not excusing him, i just went to the next problem in my train of thoughts. I work in film industry and this (and few more) was standard practice for as long as I can remember. It was allowed and even required by production companies and other participants. It should not have been allowed to happen in the first place, law is the law. Also they would pay big names and themselves but delay payment to the stuff for months. I am wondering how is that allowed. Sorry, may be it hit too close to home but I feel that system should cut foul play at early stage and force participants to treat equally everyone but it is not. On the other hand I am glad to see something happening in that sense.

  2. I am saddened to have to say goodbye to this actor…I have enjoyed the dramas he had acted in. As a person, I never knew him. But with this huge tax evasion scandal, it does reflect alot on him character.
    And this dishonest character flaw is his downfall. He will live with regret and bear his consequence. But I doubt he will be poor from this, he will just invest his money in other means.
    He is lucky not to be put to jailed for his actions.

  3. Not sure why companies need to demand artist pay back endorsement fees when they have “negative”. I am sure when artist endorsing the brand that time, the companies already make huge profit and a lot extra money out of it.

    1. because every contract has a clause clarifying if Artist’s reputation is damaged by his behavior and due to his fault the contract will be cancelled and there will be cancelation fee to be paid. It costs brands to find celebrities that will be good for endorsement and than design campaigns and shoot campaigns. It costs millions of $ to launch campaign and than it all goes down the drain as celebrity is not well behaved. It is only fair they foot the bill if it is their fault. There are many happy contracts that end without problems as celebrity is well-behaved and no scandal happens.

    2. Because it’s a two way street? And the brand reputation is also affected by the artist, apart from all the costs that @dee listed. Or you will have artists sign up to so many deals, then the next day they will do whatever, because hey, they already got the money, and who cares about the partners they have been working with?

    3. I’m pretty sure it’s in their contract. If they break a particular contract requirement, they may have to pay a fine. It happened to Kris Wu and LV and Zheng Sheung and Prada when their scandals surfaced to the public. I’m pretty sure they both had to pay huge fines, so DL isn’t an exception.

  4. This is the way I am understanding the situation: 1. He entered into YingYang contracts, which helped him evade taxes 2. Because CCP cracked down on such illegal activities, his imaged was tarnished 3. Because his image was tarnished, other brands and businesses not involved in the YingYang contracts are going to cut ties and end the contract they signed with the actor himself immediately 4. Breach of contract due to fault of the actor himself, does put the financial responsibility on him to pay any associated fees

    My OWN 2 cents: 200 million yuan is a fine he can pay off easily. Fan Bing Bing can make $20 million yuan in 3 minutes online selling her own facial sheet masks after being out of the limelight for 3 years for being punished for tax evasion. Celebrities of Deng Lung’s caliber most likely make $200 million yuan for 1 drama BUT it was so stupid because now he lost the opportunity to earn more money (we are talking billions) when he was on a good roll…….

    1. My understanding of Ying Yang contracts is that the production company on paper specifies one smaller amount of salary on the official contract, while on the backend, there’s another contract specifying a greater total. Only the official contract goes to the gov’t.

      I don’t think Deng Lun signed a Ying Yang contract. He seemed to have written expenses off into fake companies that were “owned” by him, when in reality, these were shell companies with no actual purpose other than to hide/write off taxes.

      But correct me if I’m wrong

  5. Uh, Li Xian is not even close to Deng Lun, neither in looks nor popularity. No one can take Deng Lun’s spot on the hierarchy at the moment

    1. my 2 favourite actors born in the 90’s are Deng Lun and Li Xian. I do agree Deng Lun has the best overall package. such a sad reality check

    2. Surely Yang Yang top Deng Lun in every way? Also moot point, because dude ain’t coming back lol. So even if your/the replacement is bad, he’s being replaced

      1. I don’t watch either YY or DL, but point is popularity wise, YY’s dramas do much better than DL’s. Also YY has more versatile stuffs coming out (special force/modern and wuxia), DL’s only worth mentioning is the one with NiNi, which is now shelved! Also YY’s appearance is more universally like/perceived as handsome, whereas DL isn’t, at least to me, never understand his appeal, but whatever float ppl’s boat I guess. In term of acting, lawl, well, I know YY’s acting ain’t much, but sorry to say many pretty actors and actress’s acting ain’t much these days. And based on the amount of articles I read for DL’s past drama, his acting isn’t that great either? Could be the script, could be him, but point is unless you have a good script, all the acting is about the same lol (of course there are a lot better and a lot worse, but the average line isn’t that high xD). Like ppl keeps saying Yang Zi’s acting is pretty good, but every time I see her, it’s pretty meh *shrud

      2. @LittleFish it’s hard to discuss the merits of his acting when you haven’t really dabbled in his dramas. DL has received a lot of critical acclaim over a variety of dramas in his repertoire, unlike YY who is only known for his looks lol. Looks-wise, too, DL is more my cup of tea than YY, but looks are subjective. However, I understand that YY has an attractive face to the masses, so I guess he could fill DL’s vacuum. He’s just a poorer version of DL IMO.

    3. The 90s have many very popular male actors. I like Xiao Zhan, Gong Jun, and Yang Yang. Cheng Yi is also rising in popularity after Love and Redemption. Luo Yunxi also seems very popular, but he’s not my type personally.

      1. Xiao Zhan has been trying to lay low since the whole debacle with the fansite. Gong Jun is promising, but he needs time to develop, not on DL’s level yet. YY a vase. Cheng Yi, however, I do respect as an actor, but his image was tarnished for his lack of support to his FL in Glass Heart. He will rebound with time, but not on DL’s level yet.

      2. @Coralie fair point about Yang Yang’s acting. I do think it could be a lot better, but it’s acceptable for a lot of the roles he does choose to do. I was just thinking of looks and popularity based on your original comment. My point was just that there’s a lot of people waiting/able to take your place in China. I don’t believe any one is irreplaceable. There’s no shortage of good looking or talented celebrities there. One wrong move and you lose your career. Even if Gong Jun or Li Xian isn’t at the level of popularity as Deng Lun right now, he basically just opened a spot up for someone.

      3. I am not sure which actor can replace Deng Lun… I enjoy watching Luo Yunxi, Gong Jun, Cheng Yi, Steven Zhang, Allen Ren, I bet we will see more newbies… As for Yang Yang, he is one of the most popular CF model amongst this age group. But his acting skill is no on par with any of them.
        To be honest, I think after QingMing, the Industry/Capitalist will look to groom a new batch of “Idols”… the requirements will change to suit Government’s guideline. They do not want to risk losing their investments further…

      4. Agree with @lilseemonster

        There is NEVER a lack of celebrity/actor like Denglun in C-ent. They are always replaceable. Denglun is not even BIG like how some people are making him out to be. If you really follow cdramas and all those updates closely, all his other dramas weren’t well received after Ashes of Love. It’s the same case with his movie. Prior to his tax issue, he spent most of his time filming variety shows and got the buzz from there not as an actor and there are TONS of other celebs who are popular with variety shows. So, to bring out Yang Yang’s acting to compare is invalid to the original statement when it basically talks about popularity. There ARE tons of other actors who are more popular than Denglun and even younger. Example? Jackson Yee who is totally different level from every angles you want to see. Popularity >>>. Critical acclaimed works >>>. Forbes no 1 Chinese celeb >>>

        So I don’t get that kind of claim that no one can take Denglun’s spot in hierarchy when he was never even the ‘top’.

      5. @nicex DL did great with all his following dramas, at least according to Wiki. On a personal level, his projects after AoL felt low effort and his one buzz movie was mired in scandals. He was prob burnt out and needed a break, hence, the variety shows. His comeback is supposed to be this year, but now this. DL has a market for ppl who likes his age range, his looks, his acting skills, popularity AND personality. The whole package is very difficult to find. But will there be up and coming breakthru actors? Sure, but for now, no one I know can fill that gap nicely.

      6. @Coralie
        Wiki is not a source to see how well dramas were accepted. DL’s dramas after Ashes of Love weren’t well received. It kept getting worse response one after another with all the data, viewing counts and the buzz.
        That package you are talking about, other actors also got. Like the one I mentioned. Zhu Yilong. Many others also got it too but just need one more push for a huge hit drama. What you said about Denglun, I feel like an opinion as a fan and I respect it. But it’s not a fact

        And let’s not talk about personality. DL has a lot of problems with this. Just one small examples, a few years ago he was swearing at the basketball referee when he attented that sport variety show (can weibo search it where you can see clearly he was swearing ‘WCNM’). And the referee QRT the post abput his tax scandal and the referee posted this after his tax scandal

    4. @nicex what do you mean by “not well received”? As in, they didn’t break ratings record or that they’re not up to par, quality-wise? If the former, I think his dramas post AoL did consistently perform well, but it’s hard to break the ceiling he’s achieved with AoL. If the latter, yeah the dramas were low quality, but that has more to do with script than him. It’s unfair to say his decline from previous high mean he’s a failure and/or not popular.

      Zhu Yilong, is he as popular as Deng Lun? Idk about that. He may be popular, but not to the extent DL was, which is not to knock on ZYL, but just saying DL’s market was bigger.

      And alluding to his personality being problematic…I mean, it sounds like all he did was swear? Is that a big deal? Is that emblematic of a bad personality?

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