HONG KONG • Billionaire Chinese actress Vicki Zhao Wei and her husband have been barred from taking on key positions at listed companies for five years for violating securities regulations, the Shanghai Stock Exchange said on Tuesday.
The exchange's announcement comes more than a month after Chinese actress Fan Bingbing came under fire for failing to pay millions of dollars in taxes and fines.
Fan vanished from public view for months earlier this year, sparking widespread rumours about her whereabouts.
The A-list Chinese movie star was fined for tax evasion last month and apologised on Weibo, China's version of Twitter. She was ordered to pay more than 800 million yuan (S$158 million) in overdue taxes and fines.
On Tuesday, the exchange said Zhao, 42, and her husband Huang Youlong, as well as several other former executives of Tibet Longwei Culture Media and Zhejiang Sunriver Culture, were unfit to be directors, supervisors and senior executives of listed companies.
They will not be allowed to assume these positions for five years, the exchange added.
Zhejiang Sunriver, Tibet Longwei, Zhao and Huang were all not immediately available for comment.
In late 2016, Tibet Longwei, which is controlled by Zhao and Huang, made a failed attempt to buy a 29.1 per cent stake in Zhejiang Wanjia, which was later taken over by another investor and renamed Zhejiang Sunriver Culture.
Tibet Longwei's bid had drawn the scrutiny of the China Securities Regulatory Commission regarding information disclosure and its ability in financing takeovers, as there were misleading statements and major omissions in the filings.
In November last year, China's securities regulator fined and barred Zhao and Huang from trading in the mainland stock market for five years due to the takeover case.
Zhao became a household name in China for starring in popular TV dramas such as My Fair Princess (1998) and Romance In The Rain (2001).
"Due to the celebrity effect, Tibet Longwei has severely misled the market and its investors. This has seriously disrupted normal market operations and order," the exchange said on Tuesday.
Zhao and Fan's cases have prompted the Chinese government to crack down on celebrity hype.
Earlier this month, state media quoted the National Radio and Television Administration as saying that Chinese broadcasters and online entertainment sites should avoid celebrity hype and crack down on fake audience and click-through rates.