The Vanishing Act: Fan Bingbing

Fan Bingbing Reappears in Public

ANAS ALZAHRANI WRITES — China has made an example of one of its highest paid actresses in the film industry: Fan Bingbing, who resurfaced lImportast week after a mysterious three- month disappearance. The government has charged the actress with tax evasion and is  warning other entertainers to come clean about their taxes or face a similar fate.

Fan evaded approximately $70 million in taxes by misreporting her earnings. Although the government will not pursue criminal charges, as it is her first offense, the actress must now pay $129 million in overdue taxes. Her company must pay an additional fine of $60 million.

Following this scandal, Fan issued an apology on the Chinese social network,Weibo, stating“I have been through pain and suffering I have never had before,” and “I have had deep and profound self-reflection. I feel ashamed and guilty for what I have done…without the Party and the state’s good policies, without the love from the people, there would have been no Fan Bingbing.”


On July 1, Fan visited a children’s hospital in Beijing. According to the South China Morning Post, that was her last public appearance. What followed was an unusual silence from her social media account, which has 62 million followers.

What was her crime? As it turns out, Fan had been signing secret contracts to avoid paying taxes. These secret contracts are termed “yin-yang”, standing in to play to the famous Chinese symbol, where “yin” refers to dark and “yang” refers to light. Through the yin-yang contract, the actress signed two papers: the unofficial contract, which stated the real amount she would be paid, and the official, public contract, which showed a lower amount.

Censorship by the Chinese Government

The Chinese government was behind Fan’s disappearance. It was a great challenge to find information as to her whereabouts. The South China Morning Post, relying on unnamed sources, suggested that Fan had been released from a “residential surveillance at a designated location” almost three weeks ago, in the province of Jiangsu, where government officials have previously been held for ongoing investigations.

A Little About Fan Bingbing

Fan Bingbing was born September 16, 1981, in Qingdao, China. She attended Shanghai Xie Jin Star’s School and the acclaimed Shanghai Theatre Academy. She is a world renowned actress, artist, model, television producer, and pop singer. Her international breakthrough role was that of Jin Suo in the blockbuster hit, Princess Pearl (1998).  She has since appeared in popular films such as X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014).

Besides acting, Fan has been a model for luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton and De Beers, and has been featured on the covers of high-end magazines such as Vogue.  In August of 2016, she was number five on Forbes Magazine’s list of the world’s highest-paid actresses.

Fan Bingbing modeled for Louis Vuitton ads.
Fan Bingbing appeared on the Vogue magazine.

Fan says she has changed. From now on, the actress vows, she will stop the high-flying and become more down-to-earth.  

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