Is X-Men star Fan Bingbing missing? Concerns intensify she may be in 'trouble' with Chinese authorities
Concerns for the welfare of actress Fan Binging have intensified as she is believed to be missing and potentially in trouble with Chinese authorities.
The 36-year-old hasn't been seen publicly in two months and her social media accounts haven't been updated since June, contrary to her normally diligent approach to communicating with her 62 million followers on Chinese social networking site Weibo. Bingbing ranked last out of 100 in a recent compilation measuring celebrities' social responsibilities. The 2017-18 China Film and Television Star Social Responsibility Report was put together by Beijing Normal University and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Corporate Social Responsibility Research Institute, which is run in conjunction with government support.
The recent list saw only nine of the 100 measured scored above 60, its passing grade, which considers professional work, charitable actions and personal integrity.
It's reported that she could be investigated for potentially taking part in a so-called 'yin yang contract' in which celebrities' have two contracts - one which reports their real salary and one which has a smaller figure to submit to the tax office. A recent report in the state-run Securities Daily said that she had been put "under control" by authorities and would "accept the legal judgement". The story was removed shortly after it was published online without explanation.
Earlier this year, a tax evasion scandal concerning Chinese celebrities engulfed the country and her considerable star power saw her become its unofficial face. In particular, because the communist government has been trying to cap the salaries of its stars for a number of years, believing it sends the wrong message to its people and that "money worship" is a conflicting ideal to the "core socialist values".
In June, regulators capped pay at 40 per cent of a TV show’s total production budget and 70pc in films.
Her representatives denied any wrongdoing, but the report prompted a formal investigation by authorities.
There has been no formal accusation or charge of any crime or wrongdoing, and due to China's state sponsored media channels, it's unclear when - or if - we will receive confirmation of her whereabouts. Her studio have denied any wrongdoing.
Her last public appearance was on July 1 when she visited a children's hospital.
Bingbing is one of the biggest movie stars in her home country, although she's best known internationally for her turn as Blink in 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past. Most recently in May, she was promoting her upcoming film 355 opposite Jessica Chastian, Penelope Cruz and Lupita Nyong'o at Cannes. She has previously fronted campaigns for Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Chopard.
Criminal cases can be career-ending for Chinese celebrities because the communist authorities, who possess ultimate control over what content is released, have offenders blacklisted.