Chinese tax authorities have ordered X-Men actor Fan Bingbing and companies she represents to pay taxes and penalties totalling $130 million USA, ending months of speculation over one of the country's highest-profile entertainers since she disappeared from public view three months ago. Chinese state media reported that tax authorities were investigating fraudulent contracts in the entertainment industry.
Fan stopped updating her social media account on June 3, and disappeared from public view on July 1.
Fan took to China's Twitter-like Weibo on Wednesday to acknowledge her wrongs, beg for her supporters' forgiveness, and apologise to "society, the friends who care about me, the public and the national tax authorities". Her current whereabouts is not known, though there have been unsubstantiated reports that she has been detained during the course of the investigation. Without the great policies of the [Communist] Party and the state, without the love of the people, there would have been no Fan Bingbing.
Tax authorities said the entertainer would not face criminal charges if the total amount, which includes fines and late fees, is paid on time.
She was accused of dodging her taxes by signing secret "yin and yang" contracts, which are public and private agreements in a bid to hide her real earnings, and avoid paying taxes.
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"I am unworthy of the trust of the society and let down the fans who love me", she wrote. According to SCMP, during her disappearance, Fan was residing at a "holiday resort" in Jiangsu province that is used to house officials under investigation.
The official secrecy around Fan and her sudden disappearance stirred speculation in Chinese tabloids that she was banned from acting or placed under house arrest.
Fan Bingbing, the Chinese actress who has been missing for three months, has broken her silence with a groveling apology to the Chinese government, which has reportedly fined her $129 million in overdue taxes and fines.
"Everything I ever accomplished came from the country and the people's support", Fan said.
However, Fan - who earned around £33million last year - previously denied any wrongdoing.
Fan broke into the worldwide movie scene with her role in the 2014 "X-Men" movie. Earlier this year academics at Beijing Normal University ranked Fan the lowest in a "social responsibility assessment" of Chinese film and television stars. Bingbing was at the top of Forbe's China Celebrity List in 2017 bringing in an estimated 300 million yuan.