China has fined director Zhang Yimou $1.2 million for violating the country’s one-child policy.
In December, Zhang publicly admitted to fathering three children with his wife, actress Chen Ting.
The family planning bureau in Wuxi, a city in the Jiangsu province, sent Zhang a letter mandating the “social maintenance fee,” according to a post on the office’s Weibo account.
The fine for breaking China’s one-child law, instituted in the 1970s to control China’s booming population, is pegged according to the parents’ income. According to the family planning office, the couple made $580,000 in 2000, 2003 and 2005, the years their children were born.
Zhang and Chen submitted a document last week, contesting the official estimate of the director’s income.
Before Zhang’s confession in December, local media reports speculated that he might have fathered as many as seven children. The stories caused uproar on Chinese social media, as many view his case as another example of the rich and well-connected flouting the rule of law.
In November, Chinese authorities announced that they would be relaxing the one-child policy, allowing families to have two children if one parent is an only child. But the news comes too late for Zhang.