China director Zhang 'investigated' over one-child rule

Chinese director Zhang Yimou Zhang Yimou directed Beijing's spectacular 2008 Olympics opening ceremony

Related Stories

Chinese director Zhang Yimou is under investigation for allegedly violating the country's one-child policy, state-run media say.

The China Daily newspaper said authorities in the eastern city of Wuxi were looking into the claims.

Unconfirmed reports said he fathered seven children with four women.

Mr Zhang, who directed the 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony, could face a fine of 160m yuan ($26m), according to the Communist Party-run People's Daily.

Surging population

"We are trying to confirm the online rumours," AP quoted an unnamed official as saying in Wuxi, where Mr Zhang's marriage is understood to be registered.

The news agency added that Mr Zhang's Los Angeles-based agent had not responded to a request for comment.

China's family planning laws limit most urban couples to a single child, while rural families are allowed to have two children if their first born is a girl.

The policy was introduced more than 30 years ago as a temporary measure to curb a surging population but continues today, despite calls for change.

The story has generated an online debate, reports the BBC's Beijing correspondent Martin Patience, with some internet users seeing it as an example of the rich flouting the country's laws.

Mr Zhang, 61, directed some of China's most successful modern martial arts films, including Hero and House of Flying Daggers.

His 2011 work The Flowers of War, starring Christian Bale, was set during the 1937 Nanjing Massacre.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Asia stories


Features & Analysis

  • A painting of the White House on fire by Tom FreemanFinders keepers

    The odd objects looted by the British from Washington in 1814

  • Hands holding goldGold rush Watch

    Recession drives new wave of prospectors into the wild

  •  a Kurdish bakery, complete with a tandoor ovenLittle Kurdistan

    Middle Eastern haven in the American south

  • Chris and Regina Catrambone with their daughter Maria LuisaSOS

    The millionaires who rescue people at sea

Elsewhere on the BBC


  • ShanghaiThe Travel Show Watch

    From its high-speed trains trains to its luminescent skyscrapers - take a minute to discover Shanghai

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.