An actress from China named Fan Bingbing, who played Blink in X-Men: Days of Future Past, may now have to pay a heavy fine to the Chinese tax authorities.
According to a report by THR, Chinese news channel Xinhua issued a report suggesting that Bingbing might have to pay a $70 million fine for taxes rooting from the alleged tax invasion scandal. While $70 million sounds like a hefty amount, reports even claim that the fine could be way more than that.
Bingbing is a big star in China and is also the nation’s highest paid actress. She has millions of followers on the popular Sina Weibo network in China and is also the face of many endorsements. However, post the tax allegations, Fan vanished from social media on July 23 and hasn’t been spotted in public ever since. It’s being speculated that she might have been banned from acting too, but a now-removed article in Securities Daily suggests that she “would accept the legal decision made” and “was under control”.
If Fan pays the full amount, she may avoid criminal prosecution though it’s still unclear if this will lead to any additional requirements. The documents surfaced online suggest that Bingbing was caught double billing for the same work and had paid only half of the amount of tax than she should have.
A full investigation was launched by China in June, specifically with regards to the film and television industry. The taxation bureau wanted to put an end to this practice, but no one was named initially in their official statement of intent. Local officers in the southern province carried the investigation.
For now, Fan has been banned from acting and this has put many of her high-profile projects under mystery. Even the upcoming Bruce Willis film, Unbreakable Spirit has now removed her name from promotional materials while Universal’s 355, a thriller in which Fan was to co-star alongside Jessica Chastain and Penelope Cruz is also under question.