Chinese actress Vicki Zhao sued over business dispute

The court notice released on Oct 9 stated that the case involved a dispute over a contract of guarantee. PHOTO: ST FILE

BEIJING - Top Chinese actress Vicki Zhao Wei, who was among the celebrities targeted in China's recent crackdown on the entertainment industry, may be in further trouble.

According to China's National Business Daily, Zhao, her businessman husband Huang Youlong and Giant Interactive Group chairman Shi Yuzhu have been sued by China Minsheng Trust, a trust and investment management company.

The court notice released on Saturday (Oct 9) stated that the case involved a dispute over a contract of guarantee, with the court hearing scheduled on Nov 8 at the No. 4 Intermediate People's Court in Beijing.

No further details of the case were disclosed in the court notice and it is not known if Zhao or her husband will attend the hearing.

This is not the first time Zhao, 45, has been involved in a legal tussle with China Minsheng Trust.

In June, Zhao and Hebao Entertainment Group were sued by China Minsheng Trust, also over a dispute over a contract of guarantee.

Court information showed that Zhao's 4.15 per cent stake in Hebao, involving a capital of 5 million yuan (S$1.05 million), has been frozen.

National Business Daily noted that of the seven remaining companies under Zhao's name, her stakes in five of them, including Hebao, were frozen in April.

Zhao, who rose to fame after her portrayal of the feisty Little Swallow in the period drama My Fair Princess (1998), has not been seen in public after she was scrubbed from the Chinese Internet in late August.

Her works were removed from Chinese video streaming platforms, while a forum dedicated to her on Weibo was also shut down.

There were claims that the actress was under house arrest, while others said she had left for France, where she owns vineyards with her husband.

A list of 25 blacklisted artistes, purportedly from official sources, was circulated in early October, with Zhao being blacklisted due to "political issues".

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