China launches tax evasion probe into film and TV industry

China’s cinema market is worth $8.6 billion. (Reuters)
Updated 04 June 2018
0

China launches tax evasion probe into film and TV industry

BEIJING/SHANGHAI: China will launch a tax evasion investigation into the country’s film and television industry, the tax bureau said in a statement posted on its official website on Sunday.
Some of the country’s most famous actors have been accused of signing so called “yin-yang” contracts — one contract setting out agreed payment terms and a second one with a lower figure for the tax authorities to avoid payment of tax.
China’s cinema market is worth $8.6 billion.
An index tracking major media firms dropped 1.3 percent to a near four-year low on Monday.
The State Administration of Taxation (SAT) has asked local bureau in the southern province of Jiangsu, among others, to carry out investigations.
“If violations of tax laws and rules are found, they will be dealt with in accordance with the law,” said the SAT.
The last time a high-profile artist was entangled in a tax investigation was in 2002, when 1980s actress Liu Xiaoqing was imprisoned for a year for tax evasion.
So-called “yin-yang” contract — a widely used expression in China meaning real and fake agreements operating side-by-side — is commonplace across the country for every type of acquisition, from real estate to football clubs.
China has been cracking down on tax cheats as demands grow on the nation’s coffers.


Lights, camera, action for Saudi festival of film

Updated 16 January 2019
0

Lights, camera, action for Saudi festival of film

  • The six-day event, organized in association with the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra), is part of an initiative to recognize and nurture talented filmmakers in the country
  • SASCA chairman and general supervisor of the festival, Omar bin Abdulaziz Al-Saif, said this year’s gathering would include a number of unique programs to support creative young talent

JEDDAH: Up-and-coming filmmakers are being urged to book their places for a popular festival celebrating Saudi’s silver screen.
The Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts (SASCA) in the city of Dammam, has announced the opening of online registration for the fifth Saudi Film Festival to be held in March.
The six-day event, organized in association with the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra), is part of an initiative to recognize and nurture talented filmmakers in the country.
SASCA chairman and general supervisor of the festival, Omar bin Abdulaziz Al-Saif, said this year’s gathering would include a number of unique programs to support creative young talent while also promoting and developing the Kingdom’s film industry.
Al-Saif told Arab News that one of the main aims of the SASCA was to preserve Saudi culture, and he hoped the event would encourage the exchange of forward-thinking ideas among young movie enthusiasts.
The festival is part of a year-round drive to give filmmakers the opportunity to learn directly from experienced local and international industry experts, while providing them with a stage to showcase their work.
Ithra Director Ali Al-Mutairi said that the festival had a key role to play in developing the Saudi film industry.
Producers and actors will among the delegates at the festival, which will include 10 training workshops and 10 seminars. Omani, Emirati, Kuwaiti and Bahraini movies will be screened during the event and prizes awarded for best narrative, best documentary, best scriptwriting and best student film.