Mysterious 'disappearance' of actress throws Swisse vitamins into disarray

Chinese actress Fan Bingbing has been missing in the public eye for three months after she was accused of tax evasion

Chinese actress Fan Bingbing has been missing in the public eye for three months after she was accused of tax evasion

Fan Bingbing is perhaps best known in the USA for playing the teleporting mutant Blink in 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past or for playing an Iron Man 3 character in deleted scenes which were only theatrically released in her native China.

Only about half of the 800 or so films made by Chinese studios past year made it to a cinema and among those 400, fewer than a quarter sold at least 100 million yuan ($14.6 million) in tickets. There have been rumours doing the round that the actress has been detained by the Chinese authorities due to tax evasion claims. However, last week, state-run publication Securities Daily reported that Bingbing has been placed "under control".

Other outlets have speculated on Fan's whereabouts for months, and rumors circulated that she was living under house arrest, according to the Epoch Times.

Fan, who played Blink in the 2014 film "X-Men: Days of Future Past", has not been seen in public since July 1, and has not posted on social media since June 2.

The 2017-2018 China Film and Television Star Social Responsibility Report ranked stars based on three main criteria - their film and television work, their charitable activities and their behaviour.

Tabloids in China are taking shots at Fan and she was recently ranked last in the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' list of the most socially responsible stars in China. Fan has done so much good work in the past!' One user wrote on the Twitter-like Weibo platform.

The reports do not say whether Fan is forbidden from acting only in China or also overseas.

A statement released by Fan's studio said she was the victim of "slander" but did not dispute the authenticity of the documents.

However, the scandal reportedly spurred investigations into "Yin-Yang contracts", where two contracts are used for the same job, as China's media regulators have been working to limit top actors' earnings to prevent "money worship" and focus on the film industry's "social benefits". Her disappearance is unusual considering Fan has just been announced to star in a new spy movie alongside Jessica Chastain and Lupita Nyong'o.

More recent reports suggested that Fan was in trouble with the Chinese government over tax evasion charges and may have been banned from acting.

Fan is one of five leading global actresses cast in the upcoming Hollywood spy thriller 355, alongside Jessica Chastain and Penelope Cruz. A directive from propaganda authorities following the allegations against Fan ordered websites to "hold back" on publishing content on the practice.

While the host later retracted the accusation and Fan denied any wrongdoing, her subsequent silence has resonated far louder, igniting rampant speculation about what has become of one of China's most recognizable people.

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