A couple in Ruian, Zhejiang, have been hit with a record fine of 1.3 million yuan (HK$1.59 million) for having a second child in breach of the mainland's one-child policy.
The couple, who live in Hantian village in the town of Tangxia, had a boy in 1995 and a baby girl in February, the Hangzhou-based City Express reports.
'The local population and family planning authority led an investigation with the local administration of industry and commerce and township authorities and found the couple were either running or were shareholders in many enterprises and were rich in assets, so they made the decision to fine them 1.3 million yuan,' the report said.
'The figure left the couple stunned but they paid the fine.'
Couples who violate the one-child policy, implemented in 1979, face fines equivalent to three to 10 times the average after-tax income of the city where they live or the net income of rural residents if they do not live in urban areas, based on figures from the year before the violation.
But the population and family planning authority in Ruian, a county-level city under the administration of Wenzhou , said that based on the provincial Population and Family Planning Ordinance, parents with incomes higher than the average disposable income or net income would have to pay more - being fined two to four times the amount by which their income exceeded the local average.
The measure was meant to deter people from violating the one-child policy, an unnamed official at Wenzhou's population and family planning authority told the newspaper. The city had adopted a tough but fair approach to rich people who had more than child.
Wenzhou had fined 10 families more than one million yuan each for such violations, the newspaper reported.
In 2007, a resident of Yueqing, another county-level city administered by Wenzhou, who was an executive director of a company in Hangzhou, was fined 1.01 million yuan.
Another Yueqing resident, a factory owner, who had a second child in Shanghai was fined 1.02 million yuan in early 2008, with the Wenzhou authorities collecting 120 million yuan in fines from 3,577 violators of the policy in the first half of that year.
In April, a wealthy couple in Ruian was fined 1.25 million yuan for having a second boy.