Fan Bingbing, China's Leading Actress, Has Vanished Amid Tax Scandal

Fan Bingbing was one of the biggest stars to come out of China in the last decade. According to TIME, the world-famous actress has gone missing though. You might recognize Bingbing from X-Men: Days of Future Past, where she played the teleporting hero Blink. She was also featured in Iron Man 3. Bingbing is a triple threat, she can act, sing, and model. According to Forbes, Bingbing made $17 million in 2016, making her the world’s fifth-highest paid actress that year. 

July 23 was the last time Bingbing posted on social media, and July 1 is the last time she was seen in public. In May, CCTV reporter Cui Yongyuan released a pair of contracts that allegedly showed Fan double-billing an unidentified production company. In the method, which has been dubbed “Yin and Yang” contracts, actors bill the production company for a lower amount that is reported to tax offices, while the second amount is paid in an “under-the-table” method. Her first bill was for 10 million renminbi ($1.6 million), and then the second was for 50 million renminbi ($7.8 million).

If you were unaware, the Chinese government has methods of “ranking” their residents based on how they interact with the community. It works as a social credit system, where residents are judged based on their lifestyles by the government, and then punished or rewarded for how they rank. Bad driving, smoking in non-smoking zones, and purchasing too many video games can negatively affect your score, which can lead the government to place a travel ban on you or throttle your internet speed. Ouch. Celebrities have their own social credit ranking, and Bingbing received a score of zero out of 100 in the 2017-2018 China Film and Television Star Social Responsibility Report published recently. Some claim the government is attempting to sink her career.