Published: Wed, October 03, 2018
Culture | By Jeremy Gray

China’s missing X-Men actress Fan Bingbing: What happened

China’s missing X-Men actress Fan Bingbing: What happened

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.

If Fan doesn't pay the fines within the prescribed time limit, she could face criminal charges.

"The studio and Fan Bingbing will fully cooperate with relevant authority, ' the actress" studio was quoted by as saying in June.

Chinese tax authorities have now laid at least part of the mystery to rest, ruling that both Fan and companies controlled by her failed to pay tens of millions of dollars in taxes, the official Xinhua news service reported on Wednesday. Fan Bingbing, who is set to appear alongside Bruce Willis in the upcoming film Air Strike, posted on her Weibo account for the first time in months shortly after the penalties were announced, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

It's unclear where Fan has been since her last social media post on June 2 and her last public appearance in July.

Regarded as China's highest-paid movie star, Fan has been a household name in China for years, with more than 62 million followers online.

Her vanishing act sparked wild speculation in China about her fate, including reports she had been detained.

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The tax bureau in the eastern coastal province of Jiangsu delivered its judgment to Fan on Sunday, levying fines of more than 596 million yuan ($86.7 million) for tax evasion and assessing overdue taxes of more than 288 million yuan ($42 million), Xinhua said.

However, Fan - who earned around £33million last year - previously denied any wrongdoing. In May, documents surfaced that seemed to indicate that Fan had been caught double-billing twice for the same work on a pair of as-yet-unidentified projects and paying taxes only on half of the amount she actually made. "I apologise sincerely to everyone". The statement also talks of how she's "always been interested in the arts ever since childhood" and that her success in this realm "is down to the support of my country and the people".

She added: "I am unworthy of the trust of society and let down the fans who love me". "I beg for everyone's forgiveness!"

Fan's troubles began in May soon after she appeared on the red carpet at Cannes film festival when a former presenter for state-run China Central Television (CCTV) posted a purported movie shoot contract.

Following the investigation into Fan, authorities have declared a wider crackdown on the entertainment industry, Xinhua said.

This saw her top Forbes magazine's list of China's highest earning celebrities, holding the title for a fourth year in a row.

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