Zhang Yimou under investigation for breaching One-Child Policy

Zhang Yimou

Zhang Yimou, prolific father and filmmaker

China’s most distinguished film director is being investigated for a violation of China’s One-Child Policy, the People’s Daily reported. Zhang Yimou 张艺谋, whose recent works include The Flowers of War 金陵十三钗 and the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony, is rumoured to have fathered seven children with four women. The Wuxi Population and Family Planning Commission is probing the allegations which first spread online earlier this month. Wuxi is the residence of Zhang’s second and current wife, actress Chen Ting 陈婷.

If the allegations are proven true, Zhang could face a penalty of double his annual income, a total figure given at RMB160 million ($26 million). Wuxi authorities expect to finalise the report in a few days.

The One-Child Policy was first introduced in 1979 to curb China’s then population boom. The policy, which restricts couples to only one child, directly affects about a third of the country’s population.