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Top Chinese actress Fan Bingbing released from secret detention, to pay Rs 9457 million tax fine

Fan, China’s highest-earning actress, disappeared from public eye on 1 July 2018 triggering concerns among fans.

SNS | New Delhi |

Fan Bingbing, China’s highest-paid actress and the most recognised female Chinese actress overseas, was ordered to pay US $129 million (Rs 9457.64 million) for tax evasion and other offences. Being a first-time offender, Fan will escape China’s stringent criminal prosecution if she pays the entire amount before an unspecified deadline.

China’s tax authorities made the announcement about Fan’s penalty on Wednesday, over three months after she disappeared from public eye sparking fears for her safety among fans.

According to South China Morning Post, Fan, who was last seen on 1 July 2018, was released from secret detention in a suburb in the coastal province of Jiangsu around two weeks ago and has now returned to Beijing.

Following the government’s announcement, Fan posted an apology to her tens of millions of fans on Weibo – her first since 28 July.

In the apology posted in Chinese, Fan said, “I’ve been suffering unprecedented pain recently… I’m so ashamed of what I’ve done. Here, I sincerely apologise to everyone. I completely accept all the penalty decisions made according to law, after the investigation done by tax authorities. I will follow the order, try my best to overcome difficulties, raise fund, pay taxes and fines.”

Praising the Chinese Communist Party, Fan said, “Without the good policies of the party and the state, and without the love of the people, there would be no Fan Bingbing.”

Fan was accused of evading taxes through the so-called yin-yang contracts – one setting out the real agreed payment terms and a second showing a lower figure for the tax authorities – to dodge taxes.

Fan, 37, is known to the western world for playing pivotal roles in the X-Men and Iron Man film franchises. Her last release in China was Faces of My Gene, which premiered on 16 February 2018. The other two films – one of which has Bruce Willis in the lead – were rescheduled or postponed for a later date.