Vanished China star Fan last in 'social responsibility' ranking

Joann Johnston
September 14, 2018

Only about half of the 800 or so films made by Chinese studios past year made it to a cinema and among those 400, fewer than a quarter sold at least 100 million yuan ($14.6 million) in tickets. And in the weeks since, the mystery surrounding her disappearance from public view has only deepened amid speculation that she ran afoul of Chinese authorities.

The ranking has split fans online, with many jumping to Fan's defence.

Last week, a state media report from China's state-run Securities Daily said that BingBing, 36, was "placed under control".

Other news outlets have for months speculated on Fan's whereabouts, and rumours circulated that she was living under house arrest, according to The Epoch Times, a U.S. newspaper focusing on China.

In June, days before Fan disappeared from all public events and stopped posting on social media, the party's propaganda department, which plays a key role in media regulation and censorship, issued a notice chastising the film industry for "distorting social values", "fostering money worship tendencies" and encouraging Chinese youths to "blindly chase celebrities".

But state newspaper China Daily reported this week that Fan had ranked last, with a score of zero, in the latest China Film and Television Star Social Responsibility Report.

In the report published by Beijing Normal University earlier this month, 100 Chinese stars were ranked according to their professional work, charity work and personal integrity.

She is one of the highest-paid actresses in the world. "Fan has done so much good work in the past!" one user wrote on the Twitter-like Weibo platform.

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Her disappearance came after Cui Yongyuan, a former TV host with the state-owned China Central Television, suggested that the actress had signed secret contracts with a Chinese entertainment company to avoid paying taxes. She's reportedly been wiped from all promotional material for her upcoming film Unbreakable Spirit, also starring Bruce Willis and Adrien Brody.

State news agency Xinhua reported in late June that government agencies, including the tax authority and the film and broadcast regulator, would crack down on excessive pay and tax evasion in entertainment.

"Yin and Yang contracts mean one contract is submitted to the tax department", Mr Yong said.

Because of this information, many of her fans claim that authorities are detaining her due to her tax evasion. Fan has not been seen out in public since July 1st of this year, where she made an appearance at a children's hospital.

Last month, almost a dozen major Chinese film producers and video sites announced they also would boycott "unreasonable" pay for actors.

Swisse Managing Director Oliver Horn said last September: "Fan Bingbing is an internationally recognised star who combines intelligence, artistic talent and unique beauty with a positive attitude to life".

She was on hand at the annual festival to promote her new film "355", starring Jessica Chastain, Penélope Cruz and Marion Cotillard.

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