Song Zu Er is Basically Done as All Major Chinese Websites and Networks Scrub Her From Search Results After Tax Evasion Allegations

So in less than 24-hours C-actress Song Zu Er is being erased from the traces of her entertainment career. Since news broke that she had been reported for tax evasion and fraud, The allegations were that an agency employee reported her, under her real name and not her stage name, to the tax authorities for tax evasion and fraud to the tune of 45 million RMB (over $6M USD). The methods are the usual shell companies, private bank accounts, and yin-yang contracts. The tax authority confirmed its launching into an investigation into her and will report findings to the public, but denied that Song Zu Er was anonymously reported. Since then all the major networks have scrubbed her from its website and accounts, any search of her name will turn up nothing. This is exactly the process by which Zhang Zhe Han was cancelled. The video of her performing at a previous year’s prestigious CCTV lunar new year celebration has also been deleted. She has around 26 endorsements and likely those will start dropping her as well. And on deck are five finished dramas with two S-level or above that will probably join the shelved list along with those BL dramas collecting dust.


Song Zu Er is Basically Done as All Major Chinese Websites and Networks Scrub Her From Search Results After Tax Evasion Allegations — 47 Comments

  1. This is sad. Why can’t they all learn to pay their taxes?! It hasn’t been confirmed yet but seems like it’s confirmed. Sighs, I hope we get a reshoot for Prisoner of Beauty with original rumor for Yang Zi LOL sheesh.

    • Yangzi was never rumored for Prisoner of Beauty. She is not a fit for the character who is describe as 14 year old and very smallsized but an arresting beauty unlike other taller women in the ML’s city and dwarfed by the ML which is why they casted Liu Yuning. The title itself is a giveaway that the FL is supposed to be a peerless beauty who eventually gets the angry ML to submit and stop seeking revenge against her family. If Yangzi takes the role she will be criticised for looking nothing like the FL in the book.

  2. There’s nothing like China’s cancel culture.

    Not supporting the actresses non-payment of taxes and what amounts to fraud, but the timing of the report is kind of suspicious. Why wait until she’s about to release a drama? I understood that one of her dramas was soon to be released. That’s a bummer. Everyone’s hard work goes down the drain.

    • I heard that the person reported it like a few months ago though, and it wasn’t true that her drama was soon to be released. I guess it’s just that whoever’s backing her up finally couldn’t contain the fire.

      • By backer you mean sponsor? Sigh. Do really each and every actress and actor have one (or more) of those? With this seeming to be the omnipresent rule of the game, one even starts to wonder about the actors from rich families…

      • @Adnana Nah I don’t mean sponsor. Backers can just simply be the investors of the dramas. Personally, I hear lesser sponsorship rumours in current C-ent compared to current K-ent. And C-ent’s sponsorship is different from K-ent in the way that usually those celebrities were actually dating rich or powerful figures and many actually ended up marrying them. The only person who I can think of now that has sponsorship rumours similar to K-ent is WYB, Koala has an article about it too.

      • Well just take it with grains of salt, not everyone has sponsor but don’t put that much faith in them

    • Sorta makes me wonder if charges could be made up if the actress or actor refuses advances from someone powerful. This is a Communist country….

      • I had similar thoughts, I vaguely remember that back in the 80s and 90s in Hong Kong cinema, triads or similarly powerful people would threaten actors or actresses to take on productions that they invest in, if the actors refused then they would get beaten up, kidnapped and have topless photos taken to blackmail them into acting in these productions.
        Today if actors refuse to obey these powerful people they get cancelled or black PR thrown on them. Seems only ass kissers and yes men/women can survive in c-ent today.

      • Well if it’s about tax evasion and fraud, I think no. The shell company really existed for so many years, it’s unlikely for it to be fake.

        But rumor that attacks character, like what happened to zhang zhehan, most likely is form of deliberate attack. I suspect because they fear another xz and wyb after seeing word of honor success.

  3. So they destroyed her career before the tax office can confirm that she actually did NOT pay her taxes or committed fraud.

    If you live in country where you have due process , kiss the ground you walk on.

    • Her silence speaks volumes. She could’ve made a public denial if it was false instead of discreetly commenting through her fanclub. Once the brands and broadcasting platforms start deleting your posts, that’s pretty much the confirmation. There has never been a case where this happened and the accused were later found to be innocent. Kris Wu, Li Yifeng, Zheng Shuang, Deng Lun, Fan Bingbing, and Yuan Bingyan all went through this same process.

      • So the platforms and advertisers have insider information–or how/what do they know before an official announcement from the authorities, that they would start to delete her already? Maybe the officials already ordered this behind the scenes?

        And btw–how, from all those you listed, Yuan Bingyan escaped cancellation/utter ruin of her career?

      • Yuan Bingyan was the CEO of a company reported to evade taxes. I suspect the reason why her career was not utterly decimated was because she paid her personal taxes as an actress, but the company she was in charge of did not. Which goes to show that just because a person is a successful actress does not necessarily translate well to being a successful business person. She should be more careful before signing the dotted line to assume responsibility for a business in future.

      • It’s not bcos the platforms and advertisers or any associated businesses have insider information or correct assessment about the unlucky celebrities, but bcos of cancel culture rampant in the C-ent. The cancel culture has caused similar career fallout to both Xiao Zhan and Bai Baihe before, the popular leading actors of their new drama Sunshine By My Side, even it was proven later they were innocent of the malicious allegations. Most of their endorsements and showbiz projects were either cancelled or put on hold for years. Fortunately these two were strong enough to get back on their feet.

        The Chinese cancel culture is notorious and unbelievably egregious. Being Chinese, you absolutely can’t be caught up in rumored scandals even the rumors aren’t confirmed yet. Most likely you’d be done with your career and even life if you got trapped in some sorta publicized scandals. The past history reveals that Chinese ppl weren’t lenient in judging others’ mistakes even the “mistakes” weren’t corroborated yet, a stark contrast to the classical Chinese saying: Be strict with yourself and be lenient to others. What a terrible society to live in.

      • So Joan says, “Once the brands and broadcasting platforms start deleting your posts, that’s pretty much the confirmation. There has never been a case where this happened and the accused were later found to be innocent.”

        But Somebody says that the deletion/cancellation part did happen to Xiao Zhan and others when they were unfairly accused (and were later shown as innocent)?

        So it’s not insider info but cancel culture after all?

      • The ones Joan listed were all accused of illegal activities (tax evasion, pr*stitution, r*pe, etc.), and none of them managed to come back from cancellation or prove that they were in fact wrongfully accused. Xiao Zhan was a special case, obviously, due to cancel culture and mob mentality. The controversy started from the actions of his fans/anti-fans and not something he himself did or had control over, which is why he was able to make a comeback. Zhang Zhehan and Zhao Wei’s cancellations were related to political concerns.

        The main takeaway is that 1) if Song Zuer was innocent, she would’ve denied it and 2) her presence is starting to be erased so this (in combination with the first point and track record of other celebrities who were also involved with the law) is a good indicator of whether she committed the alleged crimes or not.

      • Chinese celebrities only get banned/cancelled by the authorities if they broke the law, and of course it also depends on whether their backers are powerful enough to settle the issue for them. Li Yifeng had broken another law way before his soliciting prostitutes scandal and he got away scot free because his backer was still powerful back then.

        Xiao Zhan’s case is different as he didn’t break any laws and it’s a small group of people, mainly rivals, targeting to cancel him. Actually, there were some politics involved but I won’t elaborate further because it is very complicated. He didn’t lose all his endorsements and projects despite his antis constant harassment, but of course he still suffered a lot at that time.

      • @Gibi
        Regarding the ones you mentioned as cancelled for political reasons, I really think there’s so much more going on between the scenes. I haven’t followed the cases nearly, but Zhang Zehan did what–took a picture in a famous tourist spot in Japan which happened to be outside a shrine, of which he had no idea? It’s not like he made a political statement, like, God forbid, that Taiwan is an independent country or the likes.
        As for Zhao Wei, I read a blind item she was sleeping with someone very at the top of the party (like, top 3), and when that fell apart (maybe because she didn’t want to anymore), she basically saw herself cancelled and her assets frozen within a blink. I even heard rumors she had to flee the country at the time. I mean, even if this isn’t true, who really believes it was because of a picture she took 20 years ago, and not even in her free time but I think decided for her for a magazine photoshoot?

      • @Adnana Zhang Zhehan didn’t just took a photo at any ordinary shrine, that Yasukuni shrine commemorated Japanese WW2 soldiers. He also attended a wedding at the Nogi Shrine which honours Japanese army general, Maresuke Nogi, and took a photo with former Indonesian first lady, Dewi Sukarno, who is a controversial figure in China for defending a Japanese hotel’s decision to showcase books denying the Nanjing Massacre.

        For Zhao Wei, it is said that both she and her husband had messed with China’s real estate and stockmarket, and that they were very close with Alibaba. Plus we all know that Jack Ma went to live in Japan after his fallout with the Chinese authorities.

        It’s hardly coincidence that Zhang Zhehan was under Zhao Wei and both of them were banned by the Chinese authorities at the same time. It’s most likely they were banned because they had links to Japanese capital.

  4. Yeah…this is why I have stopped supporting Cdramas. Money hungry celebs, cancel culture…they must think money runs like waterfall and can just waste it so they don’t think of their actions. Its the people who work behind the scenes who really suffer though. I’ve read too much articles like this in cdrama land and its clear these celebs are just greedy as hell.

    • Other countries like Korea are way more lenient on greedy celebs or messed up like Japan with Johnny’s Ent abusing kids and promoting idols under age 12 to pedo male fans. China is the only country which takes tax evasion and other crimes seriously with bans and freezing unaired dramas, in capitalist countries like USA and South Korea Lee Byunghun, Lee MinHo, Song HyeGyo, Kim Taehee, Kwon Sang Woo, Han Hyo Joo, and a massive ton of other Kpop and Kdrama celebs have been caught for tax evasion and fined but are pardoned and allowed to continue acting and winning awards.

      What’s worse? Lee Jungjae was arrested a few times for DUI and violent assault for kicking a woman until she spent 2 weeks in hospital but he is allowed to continue acting and win Emmys with fans worldwide fawning someone who violently assaulted women. Big Bang’s Daesung ran over someone and killed them while drunk, and a lot of Kpop idols and companies like YG are deeply involved in drug trafficking and prostitution if you recall the Burning Sun and Seungri scandal. All of them are free and still working in Kpop. Uhm Tae woong, Kang Jihwan, Lee Jinwook have been charged for rape, and some are still acting and doing Squid Game 2. Joo Jihoon got caught for drugs and made a return to acting but others like Ha Jungwoo, Yoo Ahin, idol actor Park Yoochun K-culture is way more capitalistic and greedy, even rape or sex crimes won’t stop the greed of the industry.

      China should just allow unaired dramas to air, too bad they are very Communist at heart and the CCP like nothing more than to punish capitalism

      • I wouldn’t equate tax crimes with sex crimes any day. They are two separate categories as far as I’m concerned and far removed. And I don’t see why a person who is convicted of a tax crime cannot make restitution and continue their lives and careers if they have paid all the taxes they owe. Why do they have to be cancelled to never work again in their lives, and the hard work of their colleagues be punished? Yin Yang contracts exist in China and I can understand prosecuting the actor/actress for fraud. But there is no evidence that such a practice exist in K-ent or the US, so if a person defaults on paying taxes, it might not necessarily be fraud but could also possibly be faulty tax accounting. I can’t speak for other countries, but the US tax laws are pretty complex, it often takes an expert to interpret it properly.

      • Just to correct the info on Daesung, it was unfortunately the motorcyclist who was drunk and had a separate accident. The victim was lying on the road in the early morning due to the accident, and then Daesung’s car hit him. Daesung was not drunk, but he was negligent as he did not see the victim on the road. He also wasn’t charged with the death of the victim, as the victim sustained serious injuries when he rammed his motorcycle into a post.

        As for the rest, I only found out about Lee Jung Jae’s multiple issues after Squid Game. And yeah, he should take his lucky stars for SG, coz he is just trash. DUIs, assault, and also that interview of him outing his friend and condemning him.

      • Yoon Eun Hye was cancelled even without legal action , she lost big sponsors as Cartier, YSL, Burberry, L’oréal, …. ! But for me tax evasion shouldn’t be treated as the other crimes . They should be punished by paying the double . By cancelling the dramas they punish all actors, crew, technicians ,… that’s unfair

      • Current China actually leans more towards socialism imo. The reason why China punishes tax evasion heavily is because it’s too rampant there, and celebrities are expected to be role models. If I’m not wrong, those celebrities were already issued multiple notices to pay back the money.

      • @Lilith
        Now this I don’t understand–if they weren’t blindsided but were actually given multiple notices and a chance to pay back the money (and whatever penalties necessary), why for goodness’ sake wouldn’t they just give that money and make it all go away? I heard Deng Lun at least really had the chance to do this and just refused to and dragged it out until he was outed and lost his career. So incredibly stupid.

      • Well,if you say so , actors and others are idiots as they know the law . I’m just sad for the crew who worked hard for nothing and for the viewers who were waiting for the drama . Western countries a contrario are too lenient with taxes , specially my country France , who make commoners pay taxes for everything (the list is so long that i could write a book) but make the biggest groups pay a little percent .

      • @Adnana I have no idea either, maybe they thought they could get away with evasion and didn’t bother setting aside enough money to pay back, hence short on cashflow?

      • You can accuse every entertainment industry in the world with the same crimes Korean celebs commit. I don’t know why you think China’s industry haven’t seen their share of sex and drug crimes. If China was doing such a good job, more then half of their celebrities wouldn’t be in such trouble or look so freakin’ greedy. In the end, the people who work hard behind the scenes are struggling for someone else’s actions. Its too bad these people can’t go on strike like in the west.

  5. wow, I hope they give her the chance to make amends if this is true. Even if this is true, they should find a way for her to make amends.

  6. You guys really think a 25 year old that acts all her life and enrolled in an acting major knows how to sign and create all these shell companies and contract agreements on her own??? LOL at least my poor self never had such privilege to learn these as an undergrad. This is done by her company, managers and parents.Also come on, this is a country without due process. Yuan Bingyan only had a withholding tax issue which she already paid. China didn’t ban her, she was ban by haters. LOL

    • So to the point. Well said. In short, China is a country without due transparent process of financial mechanism that’s bound to explosive frauds at some point. Celebrities’ evasions of due taxes are just tip of the iceberg. Aside from that, cancel culture elsewhere can’t be as rampant as in C-ent.

  7. The gossip on the vine (there is just too much unverified rumors now, even what Koala posted isn’t really true and she hasn’t been scrubbed from Weibo and other sites…. Pantene hasn’t removed her advert but they toggled the hide post button lol) is:

    Rumor 1. Her ex-manager in 喜天 Mao Jian 毛健 reported her, she joined 喜天 Xitian Entertainment in 2017 when she was 19 and was given 2 managers who used to follow Zhang Tianai and in 2020 she tried to leave XiTian (apparently they didn’t get her any good roles and she went to audition for Novoland Eagle Cloud and The Bond herself against their plans) but came to an agreement to be an affliate artist until her contract expired in 2023. Mao Jian quit XiTian and worked for her independently until 2023 when she joined Easy Entertainment and he left Song Zuer, but kept evidence of her finances and reported irregularities. XiTian actually put out a statement denying they reported her and said she became an affiliate artist in 2020 but they are known to be a ruthless company because many artists don’t dare to leave and they make their actors lose confirmed roles if they leave e.g. Qu Chuxiao. Unfortunately for Song if this is true, Mao Jian may have good evidence but you are also right that it’s highly suspicious that a manager can be in charge of finances for a teen actor and then report irregularities that they themselves were involved in. That said, Song Zuer’s mother is heavily involved in her personal finances after she became an affiliate at XiTian (i.e. she couldn’t leave the company and owes them a cut of her wages but they were willing to let her manage herself) and it’s very easy to make accounting mistakes since she is not a professional accountant. Cnetz are saying that all Chinese companies and celebs have financial irregularities but reporting them is hard because you need a lot of old documents which her ex-manager has.

    Rumor 2: For Song Zuer to be targeted, CMC Holdings itself is the target CMC are the Shanghai old money class are the investors of Easy Entert, it’s CEO Li Ruigang is a media mogul who deals with movies, media, arts, sports, even standup comedy. CMC are investors of Easy Entertainment, have a 50% stake in Daylight Entertainment, own TVB, Shaw movies, Sing China etc. CMC have a big stake in the beleaguered Xiaoguo Culture (their standup comedian Li Haoshi got fined and banned for quoting Xi and comparing the PLA to loyal dogs) so some are saying that the CCP are going after CMC and its companies and artists for showing anti-CCP sentiment. Sing China got cancelled recently after someone leaked a tape of Coco Lee’s complaints, Easy Ent’s Jessie Li got banned for supporting the white paper protest, and Easy Ent’s Cdrama starring their artist Jessie Li and Li Xian “A Love Never Lost” got removed after 6 episodes due to suspected anti-CCP themes. This is murkier if it involves politics but a lot of Cnetizens are calling for CMC to be investigated for anti-establishment sentiments now…

    • Wow! Thanks for the melon. Newbie to the C-ent. On the surface it just an actress not paying her tax, but the rumors are juicier than any plots that cdramas are allowed to air. In your opinion, can Song Zu Er’s career survive the scandal?

    • Had to look up who is Qu Chuxiao, and found out he is in “Shining for One Thing”! He is so good in the drama, and I thought he was an up-and-coming actor waiting for his big break. His big break out was in “The Wandering Earth” movie back in 2019. His next big project was “The Long Ballad” as the male lead, but he had to drop out because of his management in 2020. And his domestic violence allegation still dogging him till this day. So 🕯️to Song Zu Er if rumor 1 were truth. C-ent is sure cutthroat!

  8. BRO. What a true talent, completely wasted. This is the first time I’m sad about a canceling. She is SO GOOD at acting. $6 mil is or was going to be pocket change for her and her long drawn out career. Whoever was back there managing her finances or persuading her to do, or not stopping her from doing, stupid sh** like this, you cost her her life AND us the privilege of seeing her act out some really cool stories. Wish she had a better village/team to help her make actually wise decisions!

  9. For people who doesn’t understand the significance of tax evasion in china, let me remain you, despite china developments in capitalism, China, is at heart a socialist society. Year to year, China development in infrastructure can be seen, which makes trust in government very high when it comes to tay payer money management.

    Imagine in that society, actor and actress who can get paid million times higher than normal people, yet refuse to pay taxes. What’s more, they earn money by public’s love. The significance of tax evasion is naturally different from capitalist country, because it’s essence is hurting the whole interest of public

  10. Six million dollars is hardly a mistake. Not to mention the yin yang contracts and multiple fraudulent companies under her name that conveniently closed down. The one who reported her was likely the ex-agent, but to dissolve Song Zuer of any responsibility or knowledge is foolish. Zheng Shuang and others weren’t given this benefit of the doubt. As celebrities, there’s no excuse for not paying your taxes. It’s simply greed.

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  12. Oh, no. If true then this is really devastating news. I really like her as an actress, and was hoping she would reunite with my favorite actor in another costume drama. I wonder if she was in charge of her own finances or how she could have let this happen. She and her team had to have known how severe the consequences would be if caught. And if not true then I hope things are cleared up soon. I feel so sorry for all the people who were involved in those projects with her that might now never air.

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