A popular Chinese actress has been missing since June and many suspect that she could possibly be imprisoned for tax evasion.
Fan Bingbing is one of China’s highest-paid stars and a well-known Hollywood actress. Bingbing has appeared in the “X-Men” franchise and thousands of ads for top luxury brands in her country. Time magazine named her China’s most famous actress in 2015. However, the star hasn’t been seen or heard from since June when she posted on social media that she was visiting a children’s hospital in Tibet.
Bingbing has reportedly vanished without a trace, and speculation is building that it may be related to a tax evasion matter, Deadline reports.
A hint on her whereabouts came on September 6th, when an article in China’s state-run “Securities Daily” said Bingbing had been brought “under control and about to receive legal judgment.” The article was deleted shortly after.
The Chinese government has been silent on the matter and no criminal charges have been brought against Bingbing. However, speculation continues to mount that her absence is related to tax evasion matters.
“If you are a billionaire, then that is something that obviously you can enjoy to a certain extent, but you’ve got to be very, very wary that you don’t at any stage cross a red line of some sort and fall afoul of the Chinese Communist Party,” Fergus Ryan, a cyber analyst with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, told CNN.
Bingbing’s tax problems began when alleged copies of a film contract she had signed were leaked onto China’s social media in late May, Deadline reports. A Chinese tabloid, Global Times, is the outlet who leaked Bingbing’s contract onto the net.
The leak reportedly revealed two different contracts – one showing she was paid $1.5 million (10 million yuan), the other for $7.5 million (50 million yuan), Deadline reports. However, Bingbing’s representatives denied the existence of the two contracts, while authorities called for an investigation. The actress has not been seen since then.
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