TST, or Tin’s Secret, a skincare cosmetics brand founded by movie stars Lin Ruiyang and Chang Ting, responded early yesterday to a market investigation of suspicious pyramid-style marketing and sales, saying it is a company that “operates in accordance with Chinese laws.”

The brand’s parent company, Shanghai Dowell Trading Co, is being investigated for allegedly using the Internet to engage in pyramid schemes, according to the Yuhua District Market Supervision Administration of Shijiazhuang, the capital city of Hebei Province.

“The firm began pyramid sales in 2013, and many people in our district are involved,” the Yuhua market supervision bureau told JIMU News.

The case is in the financial auditing stage, the administration revealed.

As Shanghai Dowell Trading Co has transferred or concealed funds obtained via pyramid schemes through financial institutions, the bureau has applied to the court to take preservation measures according to the law, said the Yuhua market supervision administration.

“I am very grateful to the administration for guiding us to investigate operational risks,” said Chang Ting, reposting TST’s response on her official Weibo account.

“At present, the company is operating normally, and we will actively cooperate with investigating departments,” the Taiwan actress added.

The topic has been trending on Weibo since Tuesday night and had over 78 million views.

With skincare cosmetics its main product line, TST said it opened a factory in France in 2018 and established affiliate companies in China’s Taiwan and Malaysia the same year. It also set up online sales platforms and physical stores and other business models to promote its brand’s products and create a platform “for everyone to start a business at zero cost,” according to its website.