Mysterious Disappearance? China’s Highest-Paid Actress Fan Bingbing Sparks Concern

Brenda Watkins
September 14, 2018

Notable in the comics community for her role as Blink in the 2014 X-Men: Days of Future Past, there is speculation that the Chinese government is holding her on allegations of tax evasion.

The actress topped Forbes magazine's 2017 list of top-earning Chinese celebrities with income of 300 million yuan (43,687,500.00 United States dollars).

It is the latest sign that the A-list actor, model and singer may have fallen foul of the authorities, with rumours that she has been detained for tax evasion.

The report, which was widely covered by state media, didn't shed any more light on Fan's predicament, but it does add to the sense that China's Communist Party is sending a message to the country's burgeoning entertainment industry.

A report in the Securities Daily newspaper last week said she had been put "under control" and would "accept the legal judgement", although it did not say what crime she had committed and the article was taken down shortly after it was posted.

Top Chinese studios, including Huayi Brothers Media and Zhejiang Huace Film & TV, have said in annual reports that higher celebrity pay is threatening profit margins.

One of China's most famous actresses, Fan Bingbing, has been ranked last in a list of celebrities for their social responsibility, raising further questions about her sudden disappearance.

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Published earlier this month, 100 Chinese stars including popular actor Jackie Chan and award-winning actress Zhang Ziyi were ranked according to their professional work, charity work and personal integrity.

In a state-sanctioned study on the social responsibility of Chinese, Taiwanese and Hong Kong celebrities, top Chinese actress Fan Bingbing came in last.

The actress's troubles began when Cui Yongyuan, a former presenter for state-run China Central Television (CCTV), posted purported contracts online in May that suggested she had received under-the-table payments. As one of China's biggest movie stars, she had featured in a couple of Hollywood superhero blockbusters and scores of local films, with many other projects in the pipeline. Fan has denied wrongdoing and a representative for her studio could not be reached for comment. Fan has not been seen out in public since July 1st of this year, where she made an appearance at a children's hospital.

"Yin and Yang contracts mean one contract is submitted to the tax department", Mr Yong said.

Given the Chinese government's propensity for secrecy, there probably won't be any solid news until the matter is sorted out behind closed doors, and Fan pays up for her rumored tax transgressions and makes a contrite statement to the public.

Fan is one of five leading global actresses cast in the upcoming Hollywood spy thriller 355, alongside Jessica Chastain and Penelope Cruz.

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