Two small-time Chinese actresses employed by the same entertainment company have been jailed for manufacturing and selling fake slimming medicines, according to mainland media.
Zhao Dan and Guo Jing, both 33 and contracted by Benshan Media Group, were handed prison sentences of three years and one year respectively, Beijing Youth Daily reported.
A court in Beijing said the traditional Chinese medicine capsules they sold through social media were not registered with the drug authority and, under Chinese law, were therefore regarded as fake medicine.
They sold the drugs from March to October in 2016, in partnership with a woman surnamed Wang and her husband, identified only by his family name Gu. The couple were already in jail.
Zhao, an apprentice of popular Chinese comedian Zhao Benshan, is better known by her stage name, Plump Girl, on the mainland. She gained many fans after shedding half her weight, going from 110kg in 2014 to 55kg in 2016.
"While I was live-streaming on the Yingke app, many viewers asked me how I managed to lose weight," Zhao told the court. "I said I took the slimming drugs. They asked me where to buy the medicine and I told them to contact Guo and Wang."
They promoted the drugs on streaming apps and WeChat, claiming they had been developed by senior traditional Chinese medicine doctors and did not have any side effects.
The group packed and wrote instructions for the drugs themselves, though it was unclear where the capsules were sourced from. They then contacted buyers on WeChat and used couriers to send them to customers across the country.
Guo said they sold the medicines for 1,900 yuan (US$280) a set, making 400 yuan profit on each one.
Their gross revenue reached 1.1 million yuan, according to the court.
Zhao and Guo were arrested in February last year.
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