Where in the world in Fan Bingbing?
One of China’s biggest (and most comfortably compensated) actresses appears to be missing, and it seems reports of tax evasion may be the reason why she's vanished without a trace.
Read on to find out everything we know about the 36-year-old’s disappearance.
Who is Fan Bingbing?
Bingbing is one of China’s biggest stars. She reached no. 5 on Forbes’ 2016 ranking of the highest paid actresses in the world, though she hasn’t made the top 10 in the years since. Though most well-known abroad, Fan tapped into American markets with a role in X-Men: Days of Future Past and is featured in two largely American upcoming films: Air Strike (starring Bruce Willis and Adrien Brody) and all-female spy thriller 355, in which she's featured alongside Jessica Chastain, Penelope Cruz, Lupita Nyong’o, and Marion Cotillard.
What precipitated her disappearance?
Fan was last seen in public on July 1, and she hasn’t posted on Instagram or Twitter since late May. Just days prior to her last known sighting, the Chinese government placed a pay cap on actors’ salaries, maintaining that leads cannot earn more than 70% of the full cast’s wages, nor can they be paid more than 40% of the project’s production cost.
Though Bingbing was not directly mentioned in the announcement, the decision came one month after the seemingly backward contract of a top Chinese actress (allegedly Fan) was leaked to the press. Bingbing was accused of using illegal (but not uncommon) Yin-Yang contracts — basically two contracts are produced for tax purposes, but only one is reported to the authorities. In this case, Fan was accused of submitting a contract for her work on film Cell Phone 2 that revealed a salary of $1.56 million when she’d actually earned $7.8 million.
Just days ago, Fan was given a score of 0 (out of 100) on the 2017-18 China Film and Television Star Social Responsibility Report presented by Beijing Normal University. Not a great look.
What does this mean for Fan’s career?
Though the claims have been disputed by her reps, it’s rumored that Fan is up against a three-year acting ban and erasure from promos for her upcoming film Unbreakable Spirit (Air Strike).
And uh, where do people think she is?
A notoriously unreliable Hong Kong tabloid, Apple Daily, reported in late August that Fan had sought asylum in Los Angeles on the advice of actor Jackie Chan.
Last week, state-run publication Securities Daily reported that Fan had been placed “under control” by the Chinese government and would “accept the legal decision.” Mysteriously, the article disappeared hours later without explanation.