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According to media reports, a Chinese influencer known as the “queen of livestreaming” has been ordered to pay $204 million (1.3 billion yuan) for tax evasion, the biggest fine of its kind in Beijing’s crackdown on celebrities. Huang Wei is said to be one of China’s most popular e-commerce influencers with over 110 million followers on social media. According to China’s tax authorities, between 2019 and 2020, she “evaded 643 million yuan of taxes through means such as concealing personal income and false declarations of income.”

The foregoing clearly shows that tough steps against tax evasion constitute one of the principal planks of China’s economic success. Unfortunately, however, tax evasion has become an integral part of culture in Pakistan where paying due taxes is considered by the powerful and mighty class as a sign of weakness. I have a question in this regard: how can we even think of any economic success in the presence of prevailing tax behaviour and tax norms in the country?

Sidra Munib (Karachi)

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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