Fan Bingbing: Who is the Chinese Actress and Why Has She Disappeared?

You may not be readily familiar with the name “Fan Binging”. In the United States, she’s starred in a few films including the X-Men franchise. In China, however, she is one of the most-recognized actresses. Thanks to her rapidly-rising star, Fan has catapulted herself to international fame and become the fifth highest-paid actress in the world.

Which makes it even more shocking that she has disappeared — seemingly vanished into thin air.

Actress Fan Bingbing at the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival

Actress Fan Bingbing at the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival | Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images

For starters, when did she go missing?

According to CNN, Fan Binging was last seen in public back in June. According to her verified social media account on Sina Weibo, she visited a children’s hospital in Tibet early in the month. Since then, she has become a ghost. Her Sina Weibo account hasn’t been updated since July 23, Time tells us. Plus, no official statement has been made to shed any light on where she may be.

The only hint we have, CNN continues, is from a now-deleted article in the state-owned Securities Daily saying Fan had been brought “under control” and was awaiting some sort of legal judgment.

Wait a second — was she in some kind of trouble?

Possibly. Fan was hit with scandal back in May when copies of a movie contract became public. It was alleged Fan was double-billing the production — making a large sum of money reflected in one contract, but turning in a copy with a smaller number on it for tax purposes. Since the Chinese government is reportedly tightening up on inflated contracts in entertainment, rumors are swirling that Fan is being investigated for tax evasion and was secretly arrested by the government.

Has an actor ever disappeared like this before?

Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated incident. CNN tells us Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was detained for three months for tax evasion During that time, it was unclear where he was or what kind of trouble he was in.

Fan Bingbing poses with Will Smith and Jessica Chastain at the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival

Fan Bingbing poses with Will Smith and Jessica Chastain at the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival | Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images

Has there been any backlash from her alleged crime?

Yes. Australian vitamin brand Swisse previously used Fan to promote their products but has since suspended use of her image. She was also removed from posters promoting the film Unbreakable Spirit, in which Fan stars alongside Bruce Willis. Global Times speculates her scenes may have been cut from the film as well, although that has been confirmed.

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