The Chinese government is really making an example of top film director and ‘prolific father‘ Zhang Yimou, who is now facing a billion-yuan lawsuit due to his violation (or six) of the country’s one-child policy which many have criticized for being ‘selectively enforced’ and disregarded by China’s elite.
A few weeks back, Zhang reportedly dipped out after it was revealed that he had fathered as many as seven children with several women.
Due to increasing pressure and a “wanted” poster seeking his whereabouts on the front of a Nanjing newspaper, Zhang, prolific Zhang, emerged from the depths with an apology to the public. But the public was was not ready to forgive, and neither was the government.
Two lawyers filed a lawsuit Thursday in the eastern Chinese city of Wuxi, the hometown of Zhang’s wife, suing the director of Red Sorghum and Raise the Red Lantern for a total of one billion yuan (HK$1.26 billion).
“The rich have become increasingly audacious by violating the family planning policy just because they are rich enough to pay the fine … and they take an extra share of resources from society,” one of the lawyers, Jia Fangyi, said in a statement reported by state-run newspaper China Daily.
“It’s unfair to the poor and those who strictly follow the national policy,” he added.
Chinese media reports are speculating that Zhang could face penalties amassing to 160 million yuan, although authorities have not confirmed figures.
Fines for violators of the policy are a huge source of income for the country’s provincial governments. Within the last year, 24 of China’s 31 provides collected around 20 billion yuan from penalty fines, according to a Beijing News report.
Provincial authorities have not disclosed how the money was spent, ahem, party mansions.