China fines Fan Bingbing in months-long tax evasion case

Adjust Comment Print

Fan Bingbing, one of China's most popular entertainers, has been fined almost $70 million for tax evasion, state media reported Wednesday in the first official announcement about the actress since she mysteriously disappeared in early July.

Of the total amount, Fan is being personally fined around $70 million for tax evasion, according to an announcement carried Wednesday by China's official Xinhua News Agency, citing tax authorities.

The 37-year-old actress, who appeared in the X-Men and Iron Man film franchises, sparked concern among her millions of fans when she disappeared from public view in June.

Fan Bingbing, who played Blink in X-Men: Days of Future Past, may be facing a very hefty fine from Chinese tax authorities.

The report points out that because this was her first offense, she will not face criminal charges, as long as the fines are paid by the deadline, which has not been officially stated.

She was accused of dodging her taxes by signing secret "yin and yang" contracts, which are public and private agreements in a bid to hide her real earnings, and avoid paying taxes.

Her disappearance is believed to be related to the May disclosure of a pair of film contracts on Weibo, China's popular social media network. Her full statement is as follows: "Recently I have been enduring an unprecedented amount of pain, undergoing deep self-reflection and introspection".

While the host later retracted the accusation and Fan denied any wrongdoing, her subsequent silence resonated far louder, igniting rampant speculation aboutwhat had become of one of China's most recognizable people.

After the contract documents went viral, the national tax administration announced it had instructed authorities in eastern Jiangsu province to investigate alleged use of such dual contracts in the entertainment industry. "I have reflected on my actions".

"I know I've let down the country, betrayed society's trust in me, and let down my fans. Here, I sincerely apologize to everyone".

She wrote in a letter: "There would be no Fan Bingbing were it not for the good policies of the party and the state, and the loving care from the public", Fan wrote. I owe my success to the support of my country and the people.

Fan topped Forbes magazine's 2017 list of top-earning Chinese celebrities with income of 300m yuan ($43m).