China’s highest-paid entertainers are getting a pay cut. Chinese officials have issued a directive aimed at capping the salaries of some of the country’s biggest stars, reports the Guardian. The salaries of on-screen talent will be held to 40% of total production costs, and leading actors will be paid not more than 70% of the cast’s overall wages. According to Deadline, this would apply to films, television shows, and online programming. The joint notice from five government agencies follows guidelines established in 2017 by the China Alliance of Radio Film and Television.
The directive is a crackdown on so-called “yin-yang contracts,” in which a performer receives two contracts of different sizes, but only the smaller of the two is reported for tax purposes. The notice criticized the practice and encouraged the entertainment industry to focus on social benefits rather than click-through rates. Earlier this month, China announced that it has launched a tax evasion inquiry into its television and film industries. The country’s highest-paid actress is 36-year-old Fan Bingbing, star of X-Men: Days of Future Past and Skiptrace, reports the Daily Mail. Bingbing earned $17 million in 2016 and was ranked No. 5 on Forbes’ list of the world’s richest actresses. (Read more Fan Bingbing stories.)