Mystery of Missing X-Men Star Deepens

Mystery of Missing X-Men Star Deepens

The actress, alternately credited as Bingbing Fan, is known to USA audiences mainly from her role as Blink in X-Men: Days Of Future Past.

Only about half of the 800 or so films made by Chinese studios a year ago made it to a cinema and among those 400, fewer than a quarter sold at least 100 million yuan ($14.6 million) in tickets.

There are now rumours that she has fallen foul of the Chinese authorities, and may even have been arrested and detained for tax evasion.

Oddly, Chinese state-run publication Securities Daily published a story online, which was then deleted a few hours later, reporting that Bingbing had been placed "under control, and will accept the legal decision".

Other reports have since emerged that Fan is on the hook technically for tax evasion.

Apparently the media lately has been talking Fan down, including the wide release of a report listing her as having the lowest "social responsibility" score of all Chinese stars - zero percent.

But back in China she's a huge star, known recently for films like I Am Not Madame Bovary and League Of Gods.

The report for the 2017-2018 China Film and Television Star Social Responsibility was prepared by Beijing Normal University as per an Independent report. Fan has done so much good work in the past!' One user wrote on the Twitter-like Weibo platform.

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For film executives in China, the disappearance of top celebrity Fan Bingbing (above) is a reminder of the perils of show business in the most-regulated major entertainment market in the world, where the Chinese government weighs in on everything from the appropriateness of costumes to the salaries of movie stars.

Her disappearance came after Cui Yongyuan, a former TV host with the state-owned China Central Television, suggested that the actress had signed secret contracts with a Chinese entertainment company to avoid paying taxes.

On the same, Fan's studio has denied reports of wrongdoing by the actress to evade tax.

However, the scandal reportedly spurred investigations into "Yin-Yang contracts", where two contracts are used for the same job, as China's media regulators have been working to limit top actors' earnings to prevent "money worship" and focus on the film industry's "social benefits". Fan's boyfriend, Li Chen, also hasn't been seen since Fan disappeared.

Swisse Managing Director Oliver Horn said last September: "Fan Bingbing is an internationally recognised star who combines intelligence, artistic talent and unique beauty with a positive attitude to life".

Given the Chinese government's propensity for secrecy, there probably won't be any solid news until the matter is sorted out behind closed doors, and Fan pays up for her rumored tax transgressions and makes a contrite statement to the public.

Bingbing is reportedly set to appear in an upcoming United States thriller called 355 with Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong'o and Penelope Cruz.

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