Zhang Yimou May Pay 7 Million RMB for Violating One-Child Policy

Earlier this month, well-known filmmaker Zhang Yimou (張藝謀) came under fire for violating China’s One-Child Policy. In a recent interview, he and his wife, Chen Ting (陳婷) confirmed their wrongdoing and offered a public apology. It is estimated that Zhang will face fines of more than 7 million RMB.

Zhang Yimou Thought More Children Would Equal More Happiness

“The brand that I have so painstakingly developed with my works has been destroyed in one day,” said Zhang. “As public figures, Chen Ting and I must cooperate with the One-Child Policy Department’s comprehensive investigation, and we are also willing to publicly apologize to society.”

According to Zhang, his children’s teachers never knew the identity of their students’ father. Moreover, when the family went out together, Zhang would stay at least 200 meters away from his children. “Because of my mistake, there has been a big influence on my children’s childhood,” he said.

When asked why he and his wife breached the policy, Zhang replied, “In my parents’ and my traditional way of thinking, we hoped to have more children and thus more happiness. Before his death, my father implored me to have a son who could carry on the family name, and my mother thought it would be better to have more children so they could have companions.”

However, Zhang admitted his violation was illegal, even if he may have had good intentions: “I must admit that I was wrong and I assume all consequences.”

Chen Ting Offers Her Side of the Story

Speaking up for the first time since the investigation began, Chen Ting explained that she and Zhang did not apply for a marriage certificate, because they feared that their situation would be discovered by the media. Their three children, who were born in 2001, 2004, and 2006, were all born out of wedlock, and did not have registered residences until 2011.

“Our entire family suffered as a result [of the children’s unregistered status],” said Chen, who denied that she and Zhang had outwitted the policy due to preferential treatment. She claimed that she had slipped under the One-Child Policy’s radar by going to a foreign hospital in Beijing for her prenatal examination and then switching to the international medical division of a public Beijing hospital in order to give birth. Neither hospital asked for a birth permit.

Chen also denied the rumors that the couple has a fourth child, saying that a girl who was photographed with them during a family outing was the daughter of their neighbor, businesswoman Wang Jianying (王建英). “That day, we took [the daughter] out with us and just happened to be followed by paparazzi, which led to a misunderstanding with the media,” explained Chen.

When approached by reporters, Wang Jianying confirmed that the girl, whose name is Wang Mouyu (王某雨), is her daughter, and said that she was born in 2006, the same year as Zhang Yimou’s daughter.

Estimated Seven Million RMB Fine for Social Compensation

According to the “Family Planning Regulations for Jiangsu Province” drawn up in 1997, a couple who violates the One-Child Policy will be fined a total of three times the average salary of the previous year. Beginning in 2002, the regulations were amended to state that a second child born out of wedlock will incur a fine of five to eight times the average salary of the previous year. Parents whose income is more than twice the average will face additional fees.

According to reports, Zhang’s income in 2000 was 2,760 RMB, less than the Wuxi average of 8,603 RMB. In 2003 and 2005, however, he ballooned up to 1.06 million RMB and 2.51 million RMB respectively, far surpassing the 11,647 RMB and 16,005 RMB averages. Zhang has confirmed these numbers, though there is some dispute regarding a 500,000-RMB sum from 2005.

In response to skepticism about his reported income, especially the low amount in 2000, Zhang revealed that he did not receive payment for directing House of Flying Daggers <十面埋伏>, Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles <千里走单骑>, and Curse of the Golden Flower <滿城盡帶黃金甲> until 2010. Moreover, he received no remuneration for Happy Times <幸福時光>, sine the two investors had a falling out after the film tanked at the box office.

Using the previous numbers, Beijing law firm associate Li Wei (李維) calculated that Zhang will have to fork over more than 7 million RMB in social compensation fees, which will be the largest fine in this category in history.

Source: Hunantv.com

This article is written by Joanna for JayneStars.com.

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  1. I feel this is the sort of violation of the law that is victimless and has very little impact legally. This man just had children, that’s all. He can afford the fine and if he pays on time I feel his reputation is intact.

  2. He became a black sheep in one night. A lot of ppl bash him. It wasn’t only his infringement but probably someone wanna drag him down. However, he has a part of the responsibilities to the current impact for his infringement.

  3. May I ask a question? I know he is a filmmaker based on the above article, but who is he, actually?

  4. i guess only the rich can have children while the rest can only have one. i know china is over populated but still the one child policy is still violate peoples right.

  5. I don’t understand the one child policy..I mean, when was it first created? My mom has a friend back in China, and she has two kids. She’s not poor, but I don’t think that she n afford to pay 7 million.

    1. The penalty is calculated based on the violators’ income. The more they make, the more they pay.

    2. The one child policy only applied to ethnic Han’s who lived in the city. Those that lived in the country side could have two and ethnic minorities could have more. The policy has been relaxed now though.

  6. “In response to skepticism about his reported income, especially the low amount in 2000, Zhang revealed that he did not receive payment for directing House of Flying Daggers , Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles , and Curse of the Golden Flower until 2010.”

    Total BS. Knowing the existence of the One-Child Policy, who wouldn’t “intentionally” defer “huge” income?

    1. And, because ZYM failed to report the births until caught, the government should calculate the penalty based on the “highest” income year since the birth. That should be the consequence of evasion.

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