Chinese authorities are to question the agent of acclaimed film director Zhang Yimou (張藝謀) after the director went missing following allegations he had fathered seven children, a breach of China’s one-child policy, Xinhua news agency reported.
The agent for Zhang, the director of epics Hero and House of Flying Daggers, was summoned to the eastern Chinese city of Wuxi to answer allegations against him, Xinhua said late on Friday, citing the local family planning bureau.
In May, online reports surfaced that Zhang, who dazzled the world in 2008 with his Beijing Olympics opening ceremony, had at least seven children and could be liable for a 160 million yuan (US$26 million) fine, Xinhua said.
Authorities last month said they were unable to locate Zhang and had dispatched teams to track down the director and his wife Chen Ting (陳婷).
Zhang, 61, was once the bad boy of Chinese cinema, and his movies were banned at home but popular overseas.
He has since become a darling of the Chinese Communist Party, while long being a subject of tabloid gossip for alleged trysts with his actresses.
The government said last week that it would allow couples to have a second child if one of the parents was an only child.
It was the most significant relaxation of its population control regime in nearly three decades.