China’s missing X-Men actress Fan Bingbing: What happened

Fan Bingbing plays Blink in X-Men: Days of Future Past.

20th Century Fox

The details behind Fan Bingbing’s three-month disappearance aren’t as exciting as you might think.

The Chinese actress, known for X-Men: Days of Future Past and who had a role in Iron Man as assistant Wu Jiaqi, has been fined 479 million yuan ($97 million) by China’s taxation authorities over tax evasion, state news agency Xinhua said on Wednesday. She reportedly underpaid more than 255 million yuan in taxes.

Fan had been missing from the public eye since June, neglecting her Weibo account, China’s Twitter-like platform, and her 69 million followers. Reports suggested she was involved in an investigation into tax evasion in the film industry, with speculation she had been detained.

In September, state-run newspaper Securities Daily ran a story saying Fan had been “placed under control”, but the story was quickly taken down.

On Wednesday news arrived that Fan had been in secret detention for two weeks under “residential surveillance” at a “holiday resort” in Jiangsu, according to South China Morning Post.

Following the announcement, Fan returned to social media and her Weibo account to post an apology, saying she accepted the tax authorities’ decision and would “try my best to overcome all difficulties and raise funds to pay back taxes and fines.”

Fan is known as China’s highest-paid actor, with an income of 300 million yuan in 2017. This saw her top Forbes magazine’s list of China’s highest earning celebrities, holding the title for a fourth year in a row.

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