The Strange Case of Fan Bingbing: The Chinese screen superstar has gone missing and no one knows where she is!
Fan Bingbing has been absent from the public for over two months now, with speculation suggesting she's in trouble with Chinese authorities over tax evasion.
Concerns over popular Chinese actress Fan Binging's disappearance have intensified, with the 36-year-old now missing from the public eye for over two months. The suspicious circumstances surrounding her absence have sparked social media into action, with the hashtag #fanbingbing now trending on Twitter.
Speculation states that Bingbing ran afoul of authorities in her native China for tax evasion. That theory is supported, in part, by a recent 2017-18 China Film and Television Star Social Responsibility Report — compiled by Beijing Normal University and the state-affiliated Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Corporate Social Responsibility Research Institute — which scored her 0 out of 100.
According to the Guardian, only nine celebrities scored above 60 — considered the "passing grade" — and that the report stated how stars should promote "positive energy" and be more aware of the fact they could cause "negative social impact."
In May, former Chinese Central TV anchor Cui Yongyuan leaked documents that claimed Bingbing was involved in a scheme that has become quite popular amongst the leading stars of the entertainment industry. The actress was reported to have been caught up in the country's investigation of what has come to be known as "yin-yang contracts." These feature two contracts, one which lists the actor's or actress' real salary, and another that has a smaller figure and which is presented to the tax authorities.
While there is no official confirmation on her whereabouts, the Guardian cited Securities Daily newspaper to state that the 36-year-old had been put "under control" and would "accept legal judgment." The publication also claimed the tax evasion was "only the tip of the iceberg" and that she was "also suspected of participating in illegal lending and other forms of corruption." However, information on the exact crime she had been charged with was unavailable, and the article was soon taken down.
If the rumors prove to be true, it would be another instance of China's recent crackdown on the entertainment industry in its attempts to curb the "promotion of money worship," "distortion of social values," and "the misleading of young people to blindly chase celebrities."
The country had previously announced a salary cap in June that mandated actors not be paid more than 40% of the total film production costs and that leading actors receive no more than 70% of the total wages for the rest of the cast.
Besides her popularity in mainland China, Bingbing has also participated in many foreign-language films such as the French film 'Stretch,' the Korean film 'My Way,' and most popularly, superhero blockbuster 'X-Men: Days of Future Past.' Since 2013, she has also been listed as the highest-paid celebrity in the Forbes China Celebrity 100 list four years in a row.
But her recent disappearance has meant that her name has been stripped out of publicity in China for the upcoming film 'Unbreakable Spirit,' in which she co-stars alongside Bruce Willis. Swisse, the Australian vitamin brand who she is the face of, has similarly suspended using her image alongside their brand.