Mon, Nov 13, 2017 - Page 1 News List

China bans actress Zhao Wei, husband from stock market

Reuters, BEIJING

Billionaire Chinese actress Zhao Wei (趙薇) and her husband have been barred from trading in the Chinese stock market for five years and fined by the securities regulator, which cited their disclosure irregularities relating to a takeover bid of a firm.

Zhao and her husband, Huang Youlong (黃有龍), through a company they controlled — Tibet Longwei Culture Media Co (西藏龍薇文化傳媒) — made a failed attempt to buy 29.1 percent of Zhejiang Wanjia Co (浙江萬家文化) late last year.

After the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) questioned the financing behind the bid, the couple scaled it back to 5 percent, but that attempt also failed.

Zhejiang Wanjia was later taken over by another investor and renamed Zhejiang Sunriver Culture Co (浙江祥源文化).

The CSRC said that the bid made misleading statements and major omissions in disclosures, according to a filing by Zhejiang Sunriver to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

The bidder’s actions “severely impacted market order, hurt medium and small investors’ confidence in the market, and undermined fairness, justice and openness of the market,” the regulator said, according to the filing.

Zhejiang Sunriver said in an e-mailed statement to reporters that it would “disclose information in a timely manner in accordance with law for any follow-up.”

The commission fined Zhao and Huang 300,000 yuan (US$45,201) each, while Tibet Longwei received a 600,000 yuan penalty.

Zhao and Huang built up an estimated 7 billion yuan in wealth through their investments, including early stakes in Alibaba Pictures Group Ltd (阿里巴巴影業集團), and were ranked 567th in this year’s list of China’s richest compiled by the Hurun Report.

Zhao, 41, is one of China’s best-known actresses. She gained prominence for starring in the cross-strait produced costume TV drama My Fair Princess in 1998. She made her directing debut in 2013 with So Young.

She served as a jury member at last year’s Venice Film Festival.

Additional reporting by Bloomberg

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