China 'orders X-Men actress Fan Bingbing to pay massive tax fine'

Chinese actress Fan Bingbing has disappeared from public viewMore

China's missing superstar actress Fan Bingbing has been fined hundreds of millions of yuan for tax evasion, Xinhua reports.

Reuters, citing Chinese state media, said the actress' fines totaled 479 million yuan ($69.74 million), while her outstanding back taxes were calculated at 255 million yuan ($37 million).

Regarded as China's highest-paid movie star, Fan has been a household name in China for years, with more than 62 million followers online.

Since June, China has been investigating tax evasion in its film and television industry, following reports that some of its most famous actors have been accused of signing so-called "yin-yang" contracts, one of which sets out the real terms, while a second, with a lower figure, is meant for tax officials. She is one of five leading global female actors cast in the forthcoming Hollywood spy thriller 355, alongside Jessica Chastain and Penelope Cruz.

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French music composer and member of the Feature Film jury Gabriel Yared (L) and Chinese actress and member of the Feature Film jury Fan Bingbing arrive on May 28, 2017 for the closing ceremony of the 70th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France.

Her agent was detained for allegedly obstructing the investigation by ordering evidence destroyed and concealing accounting documents.

The investigation began over Fan's reported income from the upcoming film Air Strike starring Bruce Willis, Xinhua reported.

In a letter posted on her official account on the Twitter-like platform Weibo, Fan said she fully accepted the authorities' decision, would overcome "all difficulties" to pay the penalties, and step up supervision of her companies.

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According to a brief report on the matter from Xinhua, Fan has agreed to repay the tax owed along with any fines.

"Without the favorable polices of the Communist Party and state, without the love of the people, there would have been no Fan Bingbing", she added.

In June, regulators capped star pay at 40% of a TV show's entire production budget and 70% of the total paid to all the actors in a film. For these violations, the Jiangsu Tax Bureau is fining Fan and her legal representative 880 million yuan. The example refers to a reportedly common entertainment industry practice in which actors have a public contract stating an official salary and a private contract detailing actual, much higher pay.

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