Missing Chinese actress Fan BingBing breaks silence over tax fraud

Calvin Saunders
October 4, 2018

According to China's state news outlet Xinhua, the actress who was set to appear with Penélope Cruz, Jessica Chastain, and other A-list stars in the thriller 355, is being accused of tax evasion.

Fan would not be investigated for criminal responsibility for tax evasion as long as the taxes, fines and late fees amounting to almost 900 million yuan €112m (£100 million) were paid on time, the report said. There is an amnesty for those who pay up by 31 December; those to fail to meet the deadline could face criminal charges.

She instead paid taxes on a contract for only 10 million yuan (€1.24 million), Xinhua said.

In a statement posted on Chinese social network Weibo the same day, Fan admitted wrongdoing, said she was "deeply ashamed" of avoiding tax, and praised the Chinese authorities.

Ms Fan dropped off the radar in June amid reports that she was involved in an investigation into tax evasion in the film industry.

"Without the Party and country's good policies, without the loving attention of the masses, there would be no Fan Bingbing", she wrote.

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The report described unpaid taxes, fines and late fees amounting to almost 900 million yuan or over $130 million.

According to Chinese media, the actress evaded £800,000 in taxes by signing up to a secret contract worth £2.2m for Air Strike. However, the report stated that she was again arrested in early August and has been in prison since then, with industry insiders saying this is already the equivalent to a "death sentence" in the entertainment business from which she "really can not come back". Update: Fan has also officially responded - see below.

However, Fan - who earned around £33million last year - previously denied any wrongdoing. French music composer and member of the Feature Film jury Gabriel Yared (L) and Chinese actress and member of the Feature Film jury Fan Bingbing arrive on May 28, 2017 for the closing ceremony of the 70th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France. China's biggest star has not been seen in public for more than two months, and her disappearance is raising questions about the Chinese justice system. She would use the contract with a much smaller sum to report to the government, while not reporting a much larger one.

"As a public figure, I should have abided by laws and regulations, and been a role model in the industry and society", she said.

Rod Wye, a former official in the British Embassy in Beijing, also told The Sun last month: "For someone like her to be "publicly disappeared" sends out a message that no matter how high you rise the Party can cut you down again". I will follow the order, try my best to overcome difficulties, raise fund, pay taxes and fines.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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