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

Fan Bingbing: Chinese movie star ordered to pay back millions over tax evasion

Chinese actress Fan Bingbing has been fined hundreds of millions of yuan for tax evasion and other offences, authorities said Wednesday.

Of the total amount, Fan is being personally fined around $70 million U.S. for tax evasion, according to an announcement carried by China's official Xinhua News Agency Wednesday, citing tax authorities.

Xinhua cited tax authorities as saying Fan would not be held criminally accountable as long as she paid the fines and taxes on time.

She wrote in a letter: "There would be no Fan Bingbing were it not for the good policies of the party and the state, and the loving care from the public", Fan wrote.

Hu Xijin, editor of the Global Times tabloid known for its nationalist pro-Communist Party opinions, said, "Fan's case must be shaking the performing arts world".

According to the State Administration of Taxation and the tax bureau of Jiangsu province, where the studio Fan owns is registered, the actress and her company must pay 884 million yuan ($130 million) in fines and back taxes.

Fan Bingbing: Chinese movie star ordered to pay back millions over tax evasion

Speaking ominously of "enormous fears and worries" she faces over the mistakes she made in the past, she laments that, "I failed my country which nurtured me; I failed the country which trusted me; I failed the fans who loved me".

"I will do my best to overcome any difficulties in collecting funds to pay back due tax and fines determined by the tax authorities eventually", she said.

It meant she reportedly only paid taxes on a contract worth £1.1m.

Shortly after the Xinhua story was published, Fan broke her silence on microblogging site Weibo with a confirmation with the financial accusations against her as well as an apology to "society, my friends, the public, and the country's tax authority". The statement said that one person - her agent, Mou Enguang, according to news reports - was taken into custody.

Fan's abrupt fall from public grace has been one of the biggest news sensations in China in recent months, worrying fans and colleagues while delighting others who relished the travails of a rich celebrity. "As a public person I should be in compliance with the law and be an example for society and the industry". In September, Beijing Normal University and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences gave 100 television and film personalities "social responsibility rankings".

Detention would be an extraordinary undoing of the globe-trotting actress, who recently crossed over into American cinema with roles in X-Men: Days of Future Past and Ironman 3. She has turned heads at the Cannes Film Festival for years, to where fashion brands like Armani, Versace, Dior and Louis Vuitton want to dress her. Esquire's China edition named her the "Most Beautiful Woman In The Year" in 2012.

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