China has fined actress Fan Bingbing and the companies she is associated with about $129 million (approx Rs 942 crore) in taxes, fines and penalties as part after a lengthy tax-evasion probe, Bloomberg reported. The 37-year-old actress was personally fined 479 million yuan (approx Rs 500 crore), the official Xinhua News Agency said. Bingbing will not face criminal charges if she pays up before the deadline, Xinhua added.
Fan, one of the country’s highest-paid actors, has been accused of evading taxes by signing two or more contracts for a project, and declaring the one of lowest value to authorities.
The actress, who has not been seen in public since July and had been inactive on social media since June 23, after the allegations surfaced, on Wednesday issued a statement on Weibo, a microblogging website popular in China. “I failed my country which nurtured me; I failed the society which trusted me; I failed the fans who liked me,” she said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Fan’s representatives had earlier denied the allegations. Her disappearance had sparked concerns among her fans that she was being detained by the government in an undisclosed location.
The investigations against Fan are part of an industry-wide crackdown on tax evasion. China in June also capped the salaries of movie and television stars. A directive signed by five government regulatory bodies has stipulated that payments to a film’s cast cannot exceed more than 40% of a film’s budget, and the stars cannot pocket more than 70% of the money paid to all cast members.
Fan ranked bottom in a list of 100 celebrities in a “social responsibility” survey released by the government-controlled Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in September.
Fan’s credits include the Chinese films Lost in Beijing (2007), Double Xposure (2012) and I Am Not Madame Bovary (2016). Outside China, she is known for her appearances in the French film Stretch (2011), the Korean film My Way (2011), and the Hollywood superhero film X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014).