Director Zhang Yimou, who is popular for movies such as "House of Flying Daggers" and "Curse of the Golden Flower", has been ordered to pay 7.5 million yuan or $1.2 million in fine for breaching China's strict one-child policy. Quoting the state's microblogging site, The Associated Press reports that Zhang and his wife Chen Ting have 30 days to pay the fine.
Officials at the family planning bureau in Binhu district, Wuxi city, Jiangsu province announced on Thursday, January 9 that they sent a letter to Zhang, asking him to pay the fine. The authorities found Zhang and his wife breaching family planning policy by having children without permission and before they got married in 2011.
The amount of fine was concluded based on the couple's income. According to the authorities, Zhang and his wife earned about $580,000 when the children were born in 2000, 2003 and 2005.
Reports of Zhang violating family planning policy emerged in May. He then apologized for causing "negative social impact." His studio confirmed that Zhang has one daughter and two sons with Chen, but they denied that he fathered children with other women.
China started applying the strict child policy in the 1970s to prevent overpopulation. The policy allows urban couples to have one child, while people in rural area are allowed to have two children if the first-born is a girl. The authorities, however, said last year that they would soften the rule, allowing couples to have two children if one parent is an only child.