Lawyer for the first case of Bad Actors: Gao Yunxiang will not take full responsibility

 Lawyer for the first case of Bad Actors: Gao Yunxiang will not take full responsibility

In 2016, the publicity press conference of Qian Yuezhuan was held in Taipei. Sun Li and Gao Yunxiang came on the stage together. Map / New China

On April 4, the Beijing Intermediate Peoples Court published an announcement on its official website. The announcement showed that the court had accepted the case of Tangde Film and Television Co., Ltd. suing Gao Yunxiang and Beijing Yixuan Culture Co., Ltd. for disputes over performance contracts. The court will hold a hearing at 9:30 a.m. on July 19, 2019.

Gao Yunxiang has remained in Australia since she was involved in a sexual assault dispute in March 2018. She is not expected to return to China in July, nor to appear in court on time.

In fact, at the end of last year, Tang De Film and Television began to work on Gao Yunxiangs claim. In the appeal of Tang Des film and television, the First Intermediate Peoples Court of Beijing has sealed up, seized or frozen the property of Gao Yunxiang and Beijing Yixuan worth 63.824 million yuan.

But Gao Yunxiang is the first one to be prosecuted.

This also shows from the side that Tang Des film and television are facing enormous financial pressure at this time. It is likely that they will face the requirements of creditors or shareholders before they decide to transfer the pressure. This is also a reasonable choice.

As the first case of bad performers, this case has a vane significance in the entertainment industry. The final result of the case will have a profound impact on the entertainment industry and artistsfollow-up development. If Tang De wins the lawsuit, artists will be more cautious when they show up later.

So what about the verdict?

Gao Yunxiang is unlikely to take full responsibility.

Tang De will probably win the case, but if the astronomical number of claims, hundreds of millions of that kind, the court will certainly not support it. Xue Qitang, a lawyer from Beijing Huicheng Law Firm, who has relevant experience and acted as an agent for famous actors, explained in the face of China News Weeklys consultation.

Xue Qitang said that the circumstances of the case need to be seen according to the specific contract. But in the cultural industry, it is common for companies to restrict artists to add moral clauses to their contracts. But film and television circles are personal circles. In past cases, if disputes arise, artists and companies mostly choose to settle them in private, rarely to the extent of public confrontation.

But if we really want to go to court, there are two main difficulties. First, morality is different from law. Law is a definite thing, but morality is not, and it is easily influenced by public opinion. There are different opinions on what is morality without a complete definition. In the process of drafting the actual contract, it is impossible to restrict the content of this part too detailed.

Secondly, whether a film and television work can finally go online is the result of many factors. It is uncertain how much responsibility artists should take.

Xue Qitang said that in Tangdes case against Gao Yunxiang, it can be ascertained that Gao Yunxiangs case is different from general derailment and emotional disputes. It is indeed suspected of violating Australian law and has rules to follow. As long as there are relevant provisions in the contract, the responsibility must be assumed. The problem lies mainly in the amount of compensation.

However, it should be noted that Ba Qing Zhuan can not be released, and it is not only caused by Gao Yunxiang alone. As we all know, Fan Bingbing is also included in the main part of Ba Qing Zhuan, which was deeply involved in the public opinion storm caused by the Yin Yang Contract and tax evasion last year. In addition, the play was also influenced by the ancient restriction order of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television and many other reasons. Masu, who was affected by PGONEs hair-making incident, is also among the main creative teams.

According to the relevant information, Fan Bingbing is one of Tangdes shareholders, and Tangde will not trouble himself. Restriction of the ancients belongs to force majeure. Xue Qitang believed that, in a reasonable way, the case needs to be divided into responsibilities. It is impossible to let Gao Yunxiang alone.

As for the demand for hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation, the court will certainly not support it. Unless the amount of compensation required by Gao Yunxiang after a similar situation has been stipulated in the contract at the outset.

However, according to past experience, most relevant contracts do not specify a specific amount at the outset. Therefore, the specific amount of compensation still needs to wait for the court to decide.

The Unfortunate Tang De Film and Television

On the evening of February 27, 2019, Tangde Film and Television released a performance report for 2018. The company realized a total revenue of 768 million yuan, down 34.95% from the previous year; its operating profit of 706 million yuan, down 46.75% from the previous year; and the net profit of shareholders belonging to the parent company - 565 million yuan, down 39.311% from the previous year.

Tang Des explanation for the sharp decline in revenue is that the TV series Baqing Zhuan failed to be broadcast in 2018, resulting in a lag in the recovery of the corresponding contract funds, which has a negative impact on the cash flow of the companys business activities in 2018. In addition, affected by the overall downturn in the film and television industry, the companys film and television project sales progress in 2018 is lower than expected.

Tang De Movie and Television also said that although the company has not received any written notice from the competent authorities about restricting the broadcasting of the TV series Baqing Biography and the buyers have never made any request to the company to change or cancel the contract, the companys management intends to deduct the receivables confirmed by the play on the basis of the principle of prudence in view of the great uncertainty of whether the play can be broadcast. Loss, and according to the latest situation to adjust the expected total revenue of the play, the remaining inventory carry-over to operating costs, resulting in a sharp decline in the companys operating performance in 2018.

Tang De Film and Television was founded in 2006 and listed in 2015. At the beginning of listing, the domestic film and television market was booming, which attracted a number of star shareholders. The top ten natural person shareholders include Fan Bingbing, Zhao Wei, Zhang Fengyi and Huo Jianqi.

Shareholders also make a lot of money. It is reported that Fan Bingbing, Zhao Wei and other shareholders entered in April 2011 when Tangde Film and Television increased their capital and shares. At that time, the cost per share was only 2.3 yuan. In less than four years, investment returns exceeded 26 times.

Data show that from 2015 to 2017, Tang Des film and television industry went smoothly, with a total net profit of 478 million yuan. At the same time, the production of Ba Qing Zhuan began. The production cost is also quite high, known as 500 million. Tang De accounted for 70% of the total.

In 2017, Tang De confirmed in advance the revenue of Ba Qing Zhuan, amounting to over 600 million yuan, accounting for 52.24% of its main business income.

According to the data published in Tang Des film and television earnings report, if Ba Qing Zhuan can not be broadcast, Tang Des film and television not only can not recover the production cost, but also has to pay a large amount of liquidated damages to Jiangsu Satellite TV, Oriental Satellite TV and other platforms. Its recognized revenue of 687 million yuan and its outstanding inventory balance of 417.483 million yuan will become bad debts.

That is to say, the loss in 2018 devoured Tangdes total net profit since its listing, equivalent to three years in the white.

Reduction of storm

Husband and wife are birds of the same forest, flying separately when the disaster comes. The same old saying applies to corporate partners.

Faced with the crisis, executives and shareholders began to reduce their stock holdings. Wind data show that since the lifting of the ban on the initial sale of restricted shares in Tangde Film and Television on March 20, 2018, Ruishi Growing, Li Zhao, one of the top ten shareholders, has implemented several reduction plans as of December 20, 2018.

In order to boost the confidence of shareholders, in July 2018, Tang De Movie and Television announced that it planned to increase its holdings by no less than 100 million yuan in six months. On December 13, however, Tangde Film and Television announced that it had postponed the plan until April 30, 2019 because of the lower-than-expected funding progress of the additional owners.

During this period, that is, at the end of September 2018, Zhao Weis brother, Tangde Film and Television Director Zhao Jian and his ex-wife Chen Rong undertook another wave of reduction. However, due to the small number, according to the announcement, the total equity does not exceed 0.8%, so it successfully circumvents the relevant reduction provisions of the regulatory authorities.

But Shenzhen Stock Exchange still noticed the cat fatigue among them. After all, first increase the plan, then reduce it, and then repent. This kind of cutting leek operation cant be explained in both law and principle. For this reason, the Shenzhen Stock Exchange issued a letter of concern asking Tang Des film and television to explain the reasons for Zhao Jians reduction and whether there is any situation that damages the interests of small and medium investors.

Shareholders lost confidence and stock prices went down all the way. Previously, for cash flow, the Pledged Shares also had the risk of bursting. As of April 4, according to Zhongdeng data, the pledge ratio of Tangde film and television stock has exceeded 50%, and the market value has reached 1.712 billion yuan.

In 2018, it was rainy and rainy for Tang De. Up to publication, the latest share price of Tangde Film and Television is only 8.10 yuan per share, almost one third of the current issue price.

Under the internal and external difficulties, how much can Tang De make up if he wins the lawsuit and squeezes some juice from Gao Yunxiang?

Source: Author of China Newsweek: Shi Ruoxiao, Editor-in-Charge: Xiao Qi_NN6799