Share and shares alike: China’s rising divorce rate
In one of China’s largest divorce settlements, Zhou Yahui, founder of online gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech, is to give his ex-wife Li Qiang 278 million shares, worth around $1.1b at the current market rate.
Chinese divorce rates rise
Divorce rates in China have risen considerably, from just 1.7% to 2.8% in 2015. While most headline divorces see successful businessmen paying large sums to their wives, businesswoman Wu Yajun lost her top slot as China’s richest woman when she settled 30% of her company’s shares, worth a cool $2bn, on her ex-husband in 2012.
Divorce and tax avoidance
And it seems there are those keen to exploit this rising trend. Chinese police recently arrested seven estate agents in Shanghai, accused of "Affecting the stability of the local housing market" by spreading rumours of a change in regulations. The group allegedly suggested that a new law would come into effect requiring recently divorced home buyers to pay higher down payments and higher mortgage rates.
The moral of these stories are: don’t believe everything you hear. Don’t divorce just to dodge tax (always consider taking detailed financial advice regarding your own personal tax position and current tax laws). And if you can wait for a while for your settlement, it might just pay to take the shares…