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China to crackdown on tax evasion in livestreaming industry

BEIJING (CNA) – China’s tax regulator said yesterday that it will crackdown on tax evasion in its booming livestreaming industry, and will start requiring online platforms to report livestreamers’ identities, income and profits every six months.

The State Taxation Administration said on its website that livestreamers and platforms should compete fairly and fulfil their legal obligations to pay taxes.

“Livestreaming has played an important role in recent years in promoting flexible employment,” it said.

“At the same time, there are problems such as poor management by livestreaming platforms, irregular commercial marketing behaviour, tax evasion, which impede the industry’s healthy development and damage social fairness and justice.”

Livestreaming has surged in popularity in China, with millions of influencers running channels such as of Douyin, the Chinese equivalent of TikTok, Kuaishou and other short video platforms, where they talk about topics including lifestyle, food, games and travel. Chinese regulators have already targetted some of these personalities for tax evasion, in particular a few who sell products via livestream.