Regulators in China fined actress Jing Tian 7.22 million yuan (US$1.08 million) for engaging in a sales campaign to endorse a fruit and vegetable candy that, according to authorities, relied on false advertising.
The actress, who has appeared in Hollywood films such as Kong: Skull Island and Pacific Rim: Uprising, was the brand ambassador for a weight loss product by Infinite Free, a Guangzhou-based company, that purported to help prevent the body from absorbing sugars, oils and fats.
According to South China Morning Post (SCMP), China’s State Administration for Market Regulation said on May 26 that its research found no significant health benefits to the product, leading to her fine.
Jing had lent her face to the product’s packaging and promotional videos, asserting that its health benefits were veritable.
On May 28, she issued a public apology on Chinese social media platform Weibo, saying “in the future, I will continue to take responsibility for the products I endorse to consumers”. She added that she accepted the penalty and paid the fine immediately.
SCMP also reported that Infinite Free was fined 4.64 million yuan while the government seized 2.58 million yuan worth of products.
The advertisements, in which Jing claimed the product could help people maintain a “good shape” with two candies after a meal, were also pulled off the air.
The actress is the latest to get hit in China’s crackdown on celebrity culture.