Is Fan Bingbing Missing? Chinese Actress Hasn't Been Seen in Months

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Although Fan denied the accusations and Cui eventually walked back his claims, China's State Administration of Taxation announced shortly after that they were looking into the claims of tax evasion involving celebrities, avoiding Fan.

One story from Chinese state-run publication Securities Daily, which went viral on Chinese social media, reported that she had been "placed under control" by authorities, and was willing to "accept the legal decision", however the story was later retracted.

Many speculated that she was being held by the Chinese government over allegations of tax evasion.

Bingbing, who was also a part of X-Men: Days of Future Past, was named last in a ranking of 100 celebrities. In addition, the report claimed that "yin-yang contracts are only the tip of the iceberg".

The article was mysteriously taken down hours after it was published.

Fan's arrest has not been corroborated by any other news outlet, and the deletion of the Securities Daily article has only fueled speculation of the actress's whereabouts.

Her boyfriend, actor Li Chen, has also reportedly not been heard from publicly since early July.

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Fan is one of five leading global actresses cast in the upcoming Hollywood spy thriller 355, alongside Jessica Chastain and Penelope Cruz.

Fans are anxious for her safety as she's not the first citizen to disappear under this government.

Lucy Turnbull with Chinese film star Fan Bingbing during a donation ceremony to the Heart Ali foundation in Beijing in 2016.

Fan's silence and the crackdown are also meant to make a political point, said Stanley Rosen, a University of Southern California political science professor who studies China and its film industry. The 36-year-old actress with a career span of two decades in the film industry across the globe has been the poster girl for various brands such as Cartier and Mercedes-Benz. She reportedly pulls in tens of millions of dollars for her acting roles, as well as several high-end endorsements and appearance fees.

The move came after leaked documents suggested that Fan had been involved with "ying-yang contracts", which allow stars to receive a hefty salary while submitting another, lower, official salary to the tax authorities. "We hope the investigation result can be released soon to answer the public doubt".

Bingbing topped China's 2017 celebrity earning list according to Forbes China but in the recent Social Responsibility Report, compiled by Beijing Normal University and the state-affiliated Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Corporate Social Responsibility Research Institute, she scored zero; only nine celebrities scored above 60, the passing grade.

The report evaluated celebrities on three criteria - professional work, charitable work, and integrity - based on media reports over the past year.

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