Director Zhang Yimou fined $1.2 million for violating China’s one-child policy

10:24 AM EST 1/10/2014 by Virginia Favis, Celebeat Reporter

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Famous filmmaker Zhang Yimou will reportedly pay more than $1.2 million in fines in violation of China's one-child policy when it comes to family planning, authorities said on Thursday, Jan. 9.

A district government of Wuxi city issued an online statement declaring that investigators have concluded that the Hero director and Chen Ting, his wife, has broken family planning policies by having three children without approval as well as having the children before tying the knot in 2011.

In China, there is a limitation of having only one child for most urban couples. For rural families, the limitation is up to two children if the first-born child is a girl. In this policy, Yimou could legally have one child with Chen. However, the couple was not yet married when the first child was born and they also did not have a birth permit. As such, these are violations of China's policies.

The House of Flying Daggers director apologized in an open letter for his "excessive children" in December and admitted that he and his wife have two sons and a daughter, reported CNN.

"As a film director, it takes a lot of efforts and good movies for people to remember you, but having excessive children had ruined it all," he said, according to Xinhua. "I sincerely apologize to everyone on my 'excessive children' case. I admit it's my mistake and I won't blame others for it."

"I will learn my lessons, and I'm willing to cooperate with any investigation from family planning commission," he added.

The fines are partly based on the couple's annual income.  The reported total earning of the couple before each of the child was born is $580,000.  The couple has 30 days to pay for the fines.

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