BEIJING: Chinese superstar Fan Bingbing took to social media for the first time in months Wednesday to apologise to fans and the Communist Party for tax evasion, shortly after news broke that authorities had ordered her to pay nearly $130 million in back taxes and fines.
The 36-year-old actress, model and producer had been a ubiquitous household name in China for years and tasted Hollywood success with a role in the 2014 blockbuster “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” But she disappeared from the public eye and her once active social media presence went silent in May after allegations emerged that she had evaded taxes on a lucrative movie shoot, charges her studio called “slander”.
Her sudden absence from screens and advertisements across the country spurred rumors that she had been snatched by officials at a time when Beijing is cracking down on what it views as excesses in the film and television industry.
Without the Party and country’s good policies, without the loving attention of the masses, there would be no Fan Bingbing,” she wrote.
Following the investigation into Fan, authorities have declared a wider crackdown on the entertainment industry, Xinhua said.
Offenders are being offered an amnesty until December 31 to pay any taxes they owe.
Fan’s troubles began in May soon after she appeared on the red carpet at Cannes film festival when a former presenter for state-run China Central Television (CCTV) posted a purported movie shoot contract.
The documents suggested Fan was officially paid 10 million yuan ($1.45 million) for a project while unofficially receiving an additional 50 million yuan – all for four days of work.