Chinese Actress Fan Bingbing In Custody Following Tax-Evasion Investigation

14 September, 2018, 21:58 | Author: Dominic Spencer
  • Chinese actress Fan Bingbing has been missing in the public eye for three months after she was accused of tax evasion

The 36-year-old actress has been a household name in China for years and tasted Hollywood success with a role in the 2014 blockbuster X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Only about half of the 800 or so films made by Chinese studios a year ago made it to a cinema and among those 400, fewer than a quarter sold at least 100 million yuan (S$20 million) in tickets. And in the weeks since, the mystery surrounding her disappearance from public view has only deepened amid speculation that she ran afoul of Chinese authorities.

There have been conflicting reports on Bingbing's whereabouts as of late, including some speculating that she is in the custody of the Chinese government, while others claim that she's seeking asylum in Los Angeles. She has been accused of taking advantage of a dual-contract system that gives Chinese actors something called a "yin-yang contract", essentially an official contract and an unofficial one that's off the books.

One story from Chinese state-run publication Securities Daily, which went viral on Chinese social media, reported that she had been "placed under control" by authorities, and was willing to "accept the legal decision", however the story was later retracted.

A recent report authored by academics at Beijing Normal University ranked Fan the lowest in a "social responsibility assessment" of Chinese film and television stars. Then came the celebrity-ranking report in which Fan ranked last, with just nine of the 100 celebrities reviewed on their work, philanthropy, and personal integrity deemed to be "socially responsible".

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.

Press photo of The Legend of Ba Qing 巴清传, one of the shows starring Fan Bingbing that has been delayed because of her tax evasion scandal.

Many think Fan's disappearance from the public eye may be to do with her tax affairs. Fan has denied wrongdoing and a representative for her studio could not be reached for comment.

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.

In June, China announced that it was launching a full investigation into the country's film and television industry, specifically with regards to yin-yang contracts.

Last month, almost a dozen major Chinese film producers and video sites announced they also would boycott "unreasonable" pay for actors. Fan Bingbing arrives in the last position with the zero mark.

She has been cast in "355", an all-female action movie produced by Jessica Chastain, which was the hottest-selling film this year at Cannes.



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