Star Actress's Disappearance Spotlights Perils of Showbiz in China

Star Actress's Disappearance Spotlights Perils of Showbiz in China

Star Actress's Disappearance Spotlights Perils of Showbiz in China

The actress, alternately credited as Bingbing Fan, is known to US audiences mainly from her role as Blink in X-Men: Days Of Future Past.

Only about half of the 800 or so films made by Chinese studios previous year made it to a cinema and among those 400, fewer than a quarter sold at least 100 million yuan (S$20 million) in tickets.

Meanwhile, a watchdog site covering social media censorship in China notes that concerned supporters who wondered online what had happened to Fan have since seen their posts scrubbed. The low rating fuelled speculation that Fan may have run into trouble with the authorities after being placed under investigation over tax evasion allegations involving the use of "yin-yang contracts", a practice widespread in the entertainment industry whereby stars under report their earnings by submitting a copy of their contract with a reduced salary figure to tax authorities.

Over the past few months, rumors have circulated that Fan has been arrested, that she has been banned from leaving China, that she has been banned from acting for three years, that her production company's offices have been emptied, and even that she has sought asylum in the United States.

Variety magazine reported Fan had not been seen in public, nor touched her social media accounts, in weeks. The 36-year-old actress has not been photographed in public since early May, when she posed on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival for a screening of Ash Is Purest White.

Guardian.com reported that Fan scored zero out of 100 in her category in the 2017-18 China Film and Television Star Social Responsibility Report, compiled by Beijing Normal University and the state-affiliated Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Corporate Social Responsibility Research Institute. According to the state-run China Daily, this ranking depends on one's professional life, charitable work and personal integrity. "Fan has done so much good work in the past!" one user wrote on the Twitter-like Weibo platform.

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Almost 300,000 customers in North Carolina were meanwhile reported to be without power as the outer band of the storm approached. Spanish moss waved in the trees as the winds picked up in Wilmington , and floating docks bounced atop swells at Morehead City.

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Many people in coastal communities have followed the mandatory evacuation orders, but some are vowing to stay put and ride it out. Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it's unclear how many did.

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He's got huge competition for places at his club, so you can understand that (frustration). They have to try and win matches.

One of China's most famous actresses, Fan Bingbing, has been ranked last in a list of celebrities for their social responsibility, raising further questions about her sudden disappearance. Her name is commonly associated with Chinese youths' newfound obsession with plastic surgery, and her aquiline nose and distinctive jaw line are said to be popular requests.

On the same, Fan's studio has denied reports of wrongdoing by the actress to evade tax.

In June, China announced that it was launching a full investigation into the country's film and television industry, specifically with regards to yin-yang contracts.

Bingbing had been cast in upcoming all-female spy thriller "355" but it's not known if she will be available for filming given her current circumstances.

Fan Bingbing may have been detained by authorities.

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