14/08/2014 16:58 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Chinese Film Director Fined £750,000 For Breaking China's One Child Policy


Zhang Yimou, the Chinese director who orchestrated the spectacular 2008 Beijing Olympics opening and closing ceremonies, has been fined 7.5 million yuan (£750,000) after he admitted to having three children - two more than the country's strict one child policy allows.

The director of Hero and House of Flying Daggers fell victim to the heavy fines which are imposed if a couple exceeds the maximum number of children they are permitted (one for urban families, two for rural).

According to an official local government announcement on Weibo (China's equivalent of Twitter), he has already paid the fine, after initially appealing the amount in December.

China's family planning authorities have been trying to untangle the director's complicated personal life for some time, with rumours that he had fathered up to seven children over the years.

Zhang finally put an end to the speculation in December, confirming that his wife, Chen Ting, had given birth to three children between 2001 and 2006. The couple have been together since 1999, but only married in 2011. Zhang also has a daughter from a previous marriage.

The eye-watering sum was described by the local authorities as an "additional birth fee and social upbringing fee".

The One Child policy has been a contentious subject in China and on the international stage since its introduction in the 1970s. Amid uproar over allegations of human rights violations, the Government announced last year that if one half of a couple was an only child, they would be permitted two children.

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