Renowned for being the fifth-highest paying Chinese actress in the year 2016, according to Forbes. Despite her popularity, Fan Bingbing was reported to be missing on her trip back for charity when she went to Tibet to visit a children’s hospital on July 23. Though many people are unaware of her location, some believe that she is detained in jail for her alleged tax evasion. Since then, she has been inactive on her social media sites and has not been seen from the public eye.
After her first debut in 2009 through the TV series My Fair Princess, she is most known for her lead role in 2003’s Cell Phone. Though winning numerous awards, her most recognized award was the Best Actress Honors Award at the Hundred Flowers Awards, which is equal to that of the Golden Globes. As she began to take lead roles on global films, she came to act in American films such as X Men: Days of Future Past and Ironman 3.
Problems arose when a CCTV presenter, Cui Yongyuan, leaked “yin-yang” contracts, which accused her of tax evasion. In June, the Jiangsu Province State Administration of Taxation began to investigate the entertainment industry, and included was Fan’s film studio. Despite denial by Fan’s entertainment company, officials continued to investigate. According to Time Magazine, speculations included the time when Fan accused and filed a defamation lawsuit to Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui who was rumored to have sexual affairs with celebrities and top Chinese Communist Party officials.
On Sept. 6, Securities Daily, the state media of China, reported that Fan was brought “under control and about to receive legal judgment.” However, the article was quickly censored by the Chinese Communist Party. Soon after, Beijing Normal University released a report on the level of “social responsibility” of many of the country’s stars. In the list, Fan was ranked last, with a score 0 out of 100.
“It was scary to hear of Fan Bingbing because we had been reading a book in English class 1984 where the government would simply take people away and nothing was spoken of them anymore in the community. The same has happened to Fan Bingbing and I am now aware of the unethical actions done by the Communist Party of China,” said Kyuhee Han (11).
“The same instance had happened a few decades ago when a Chinese woman who was 8-months pregnant had an illegal sexual relationship with a government official of China. As soon as the relationship was revealed, she went missing and after a few years, her body was found in a museum in Germany where she was found to be skinned. I hope the same doesn’t happen to Fan Bingbing. I wish for her safety,” said Soomin Kim (10).
Recently, on Sept.16, Fan’s birthday, Fan was supposedly caught seen logging into her account on Weibo, a Chinese micro-blogging site. Though many debunk this theory that Weibo was automatically updating her account with a birthday message, some still have hope. Questions still remain as Fan Bingbing’s message of being online was deleted five minutes later.
Still, her fans are waiting for her return: “We will wait for your answer.”