China fines movie star Fan Bingbing in high-profile tax evasion case

71st Cannes Film Festival - Photocall for the film "355" - Cannes, France May 10, 2018. Fan Bingbing poses on a pier. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/Files

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s taxation authorities fined A-list Chinese movie star Fan Bingbing more than 479 million yuan ($69.74 million) over tax evasion and ordered her to pay back more than 255 million yuan in taxes, state news agency Xinhua said on Wednesday.

Fan appeared in the “X-Men” and “Iron Man” film franchises with more than 62 million followers online in China. She dropped off the radar in June amid reports she was involved in an investigation into tax evasion in the film industry.

Her vanishing act sparked wild speculation in China about her fate, including reports she had been detained.

A Chinese TV anchor was widely reported in May to have posted tax-dodging pay agreements online known as “yin-yang” contracts – one setting out the real agreed payment terms and a second with a lower figure for the tax authorities – that appeared to implicate Fan.

Reuters was unable to contact Fan or her agent when inquiring about those reports.

The Jiangsu provincial tax bureau delivered its judgments to Fan on Sunday, Xinhua said. There was no immediate comment from Fan or a representative for the actor.

($1 = 6.8680 Chinese yuan renminbi)

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