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Thread: Vanished China star Fan Bingbing last in 'social responsibility' ranking

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    Elite Member azoria's Avatar
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    Default Vanished China star Fan Bingbing last in 'social responsibility' ranking

    11 Sep. 2018



    Fan Bingbing has not been seen in public since July, following claims of tax evasion

    China's highest paid movie star Fan Bingbing, who has not been seen in public since July, was placed last in an academic report ranking A-list celebrities on their social responsibility.

    The 36-year-old actress has been a household name in China for years and tasted Hollywood success with a role in the 2014 blockbuster "X-Men: Days of Future Past".



    Last year, she topped Forbes magazine's list of top-earning Chinese celebrities with income of 300 million yuan ($43 million).

    But she has gone quiet in recent months, following allegations of tax evasion.


    In the report by Beijing Normal University published earlier this month, 100 Chinese stars including popular actor Jackie Chan and award-winning actress Zhang Ziyi were ranked according to their professional work, charity work and personal integrity.


    But with a pass requiring a score of more than 60 percent, only nine celebrities made the cut, with Chinese actor Xu Zheng topping the list at 78 percent. Fan had a score of zero.


    The report's authors said they studied the celebrities' behaviour to assess the extent of their social responsibility but did not elaborate how they arrived at the results, saying that the findings were based on "research and web-scraping".


    The ranking has split fans online, with many jumping to Fan's defence.

    "What kind of a report is this? Fan has done so much good work in the past!" one user wrote on the Twitter-like Weibo platform.

    Fan has been unusually quiet in recent months -- with no new posts to her normally active personal Weibo account since May -- amid speculation about her whereabouts.


    The actress's troubles began when Cui Yongyuan, a former presenter for state-run China Central Television (CCTV), posted purported contracts online in May that suggested she had received under-the-table payments.

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

    So-called "yin and yang" dual contract arrangements -- with one contract for income declared to tax authorities and another kept secret -- are reportedly used to evade taxes.

    After the documents posted by Cui went viral, the state tax administration was reportedly investigating alleged use of such dual contracts in the entertainment industry in eastern Jiangsu province.

    Although Fan was not mentioned by name, she has businesses registered in Jiangsu.


    State news agency Xinhua reported in late June that government agencies, including the tax authority and the film and broadcast regulator, would crack down on excessive pay and tax evasion in entertainment.

    Last month, nearly a dozen major Chinese film producers and video sites announced they also would boycott "unreasonable" pay for actors.

    Fan is one of five leading international actresses cast in the upcoming Hollywood spy thriller "355", alongside Jessica Chastain and Penelope Cruz.


    https://www.afp.com/en/news/206/vani...ng-doc-1904681



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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Considering the country this is coming from, this is really rich.

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    The thread title made me think she had vanished, and considering the article's content, I wouldn't be surprised if she actually did...

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    ^ it kinda sounds like it?

    China's highest paid movie star Fan Bingbing, who has not been seen in public since July, was placed last in an academic report ranking A-list celebrities on their social responsibility.
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    I always read it a Fan Blingbling. What celebrity is dropping major money on fans? LOL.

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    I would have sworn I saw her doing press for her new movie.
    I am going to come and burn the fucking house down... but you will blow me first."

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    Quote Originally Posted by gas_chick View Post
    I would have sworn I saw her doing press for her new movie.
    Maybe this is indirect PR for her movie...

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    The report's authors said they studied the celebrities' behaviour to assess the extent of their social responsibility but did not elaborate how they arrived at the results, saying that the findings were based on "research and web-scraping".
    good to know a university is conducting such serious academic research, all based on hard data and peer-reviewed I'm sure.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik View Post
    good to know a university is conducting such serious academic research, all based on hard data and peer-reviewed I'm sure.
    Well it is the Normal University, so I imagine the standards there are pretty average.
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moongirl View Post
    The thread title made me think she had vanished, and considering the article's content, I wouldn't be surprised if she actually did...
    Just like China's 1 Million Uighurs! Maybe they can combine search parties over there?

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    Gold Member lucianodel's Avatar
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    Maybe they donated her for organs? Which seems to be a thing in China.

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    Has China's most famous actress been disappeared by the Communist Party?

    By Steven Jiang, Ben Westcott and Nanlin Fang, CNNUpdated 11:12 AM ET, Sat September 15, 2018


    (CNN)Imagine if one day Jennifer Lawrence was walking the red carpet in Los Angeles and the next she vanished completely with no word about where she was.

    It might sound ludicrous, or terrifying, but it's the reality in China, where one of the country's most famous actresses has disappeared without a trace amid an uproar over tax evasion by celebrities.
    Fan Bingbing, one of China's highest-paid and most bankable stars, has appeared in both Chinese and Western films, including the multimillion-dollar X-Men franchise.
    Across the country, her face once adorned thousands of advertisements, her star power used to sell a galaxy of luxury brands, from Cartier to Louis Vuitton. She was a regular sight at major award shows and fashion ceremonies. In 2015, Time Magazine named her China's "most famous actress."
    But the film star hasn't been seen in public since early June, when, according to a post on her verified social-media account, she went to visit a children's hospital in Tibet.
    In an article by state media Securities Daily on September 6, which was later deleted, the publication said Fan had been brought "under control and about to receive legal judgment."
    No official statement has been made as to Fan's whereabouts, or any potential criminal charges against the actress.
    However, in a country where top celebrities are forced to keep an inoffensive public profile to stay in the Chinese government's good graces, people have drawn their own conclusions about the actress' location.

    "If you are a billionaire, then that is something that obviously you can enjoy to a certain extent, but you've got to be very, very wary that you don't at any stage cross a red line of some sort and fall afoul of the Chinese Communist Party," Fergus Ryan, a cyber analyst with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, told CNN.
    In 2011, the country's best-known artist, Ai Weiwei, was detained for almost three months during which time his whereabouts were unclear. He was later released after he signed a confession authorities described as being related to tax evasion.

    Fan Bingbing and Hugh Jackman arrive at the Australian premiere of 'X-Men: Days of Future Past" on May 16, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.

    Yin yang contracts

    Fan's purported problems began when alleged copies of a film contract she had signed were leaked onto China's social media in late May.
    According to state tabloid Global Times, she had two different contracts, one for tax purposes saying she was paid $1.5 million (10 million yuan) and a separate, private contract for $7.5 million (50 million yuan).
    It's a practice known in China as "yin-yang contracts," a form of tax evasion where the first, smaller contract is reported to authorities while the second, larger one is treated as tax-free income.
    The man behind the leak, Chinese TV host Cui Yongyuan, apologized in June to Fan for his actions, but the same month the State Administration of Taxation of China urged investigators to look into allegations of yin-yang contracts in the country's film industry.

    US actor Will Smith (L) and Chinese actress Fan Bingbing pose as they arrive on May 23, 2017 at the Cannes Film Festival in France.

    Fan's team issued a furious denial at the time but the actress hasn't been seen in public since the dispute.


    In September, China's Peking University released a report, lauded as the first "in the world" and heavily promoted in Chinese state media, which ranked the country's stars by their level of "social responsibility." Fan was ranked last, with a score of 0 out of 100.
    A producer with a major Chinese studio told CNN the practice of having two contracts, one of them smaller to avoid paying too much tax, was "universal" in the film industry.
    He said everyone was worried following Fan's disappearance, especially because "almost every contract has some irregularities" and won't stand up to a serious audit.
    Like other industry insiders CNN spoke to, he declined to be named due to the political sensitivity of the topic.
    Scaring celebrities into line

    Jonathan Landreth, former Beijing-based Asia editor for the Hollywood Reporter and longtime observer of China's entertainment industry, told CNN the Chinese Communist Party was treading a tricky line, keen to use high-profile celebrities to sell the "Chinese Dream," but not wanting to promote the stark income divide.
    "Maybe this is just scaring folk to ... start paying taxes. If someone were to get busted, then I think it would send a ripple effect to how film production goes forward in the coming years," Landreth said.

    An executive in a foreign film studio's China office told CNN the lack of A-list celebrities in China increased the bargaining power and earnings of a lucky few -- high-profile performers like Fan.

    But while cracking down on them might solve other problems, she said it wouldn't help address the fundamental lack of talent across the Chinese film and television industries.
    Combined with strict ideological control, such measures act only to create a "sad situation" in China's creative industry, she said.
    The controls, though, can only go so far. The Chinese government needs the high-profile celebrities to help drive commerce, both domestically and internationally, to promote China, said Landreth.
    The crackdown may in fact be intended to solve a different problem facing authorities. "It has long been an open secret that a movie budget is a great place to hide money," said Landreth.
    The Communist Party's leadership may hope that by shining a light on celebrity tax avoidance, it could deflect attention and avoid closer public scrutiny of the rumored corruption among top government officials and their families, Landreth told CNN.
    Spreading 'positive energy'

    The Chinese Communist Party has long had an uncomfortable relationship with celebrities.
    In recent years, state media has called on celebrities to spread "positive energy"on the internet. The threat of career-ending trouble with authorities has led the country's stars to pay attention to the party's wishes.

    The result is a celebrity culture that has less in common with the salacious and controversial Hollywood familiar to the Western world. In China, celebrities often try to keep their reputations' positive and inoffensive.
    Australian analyst Ryan said when he lived in China, he worked with the publicity team for Chinese actress and singer Li Bingbing.
    He encouraged Li to become more involved with environmental causes, including the United Nations Environment Program.
    But Ryan said the team would never choose a cause, or take up a fight that was ahead of what the Communist Party was comfortable with, especially if it opposed current government policy.
    "You would be foolish to go out ahead of the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese authorities on issues and lead the way," he said.
    Despite the speculation and the concern, Ryan said it was possible the explanation for Fan's disappearance was actually very simple.
    "She possibly did something wrong ... the evidence was put out there for all to see, I guess, in a way that put the authorities in a position where they had to come down hard on her," he said.
    https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/14/asia/...ntl/index.html
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    Elite Member Waterslide's Avatar
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    I hate to say it, but this story is not giving me a great feeling. This is way worse than the Richard Simmons "disappearance". I also think she would have shown herself by now if something weren't really wrong...
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    Elite Member azoria's Avatar
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    There is also a brief news video on the original Reuters article
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-c...-idUSKCN1LU1J4



    A lady vanishes: In China, a movie star disappears amid culture crackdown

    SEPTEMBER 14, 2018




    BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Fan Bingbing, an A-list Chinese movie star who has appeared in the “X-Men” and “Iron Man” film franchises, has more than 62 million followers online in China and fronted campaigns for Montblanc watches and De Beers diamonds, has disappeared.






    The star’s vanishing act - she dropped off the radar in June when reports started to swirl that she was involved in a probe into tax evasion in the film industry - has sparked wild speculation in China about her fate, including reports the actress had been detained.


    Reuters was unable to contact Fan. Calls to her agent went unanswered. When asked about Fan, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry replied: “Do you think this is a question of diplomacy?” The Beijing Public Security Bureau declined to comment.


    The real-life drama has been playing out at a time when Beijing is tightening the reins on popular culture, looking to stamp out behavior seen as going against the ruling Communist Party’s ideological line and co-opting movie stars, pop bands and online celebrities to endorse socialist values.





    “It is written in our new movie promotion law that entertainers need to pursue both professional excellence and moral integrity,” said Si Ruo, a researcher at the School of Journalism and Communication at China’s prestigious Tsinghua University.


    “In the unbridled growth of the industry in the past few years, we might have overlooked the need for positive energy, so the government’s intervention is reasonable.”


    Fan Bingbing is the most prominent example. The actress, 36, is China’s equivalent of Hollywood star Jennifer Lawrence. She topped Forbes’ China celebrity rich list last year with earnings of 300 million yuan ($43.78 million).


    A Chinese TV anchor in May was widely reported 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.


    Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post reported that Fan’s studio denied she had ever signed separate contracts for a single job. China’s tax bureau said in June it was launching a tax evasion investigation into the film and television industry.


    CULTURE CLEAN-UP



    But the culture clean-up is more widespread, snaring video games, online bloggers and rap artists. Critics say it threatens to stifle creativity in some sectors, and is hitting the bottom lines of firms such as tech and gaming giant Tencent.


    State-run media have begun using phrases such as “tainted artists”, with official bodies pledging to ban stars who behave badly, including drug taking, gambling or visiting prostitutes.


    An open letter earlier this month from members of the Beijing Trade Association for Performances said the body would “purify” the city’s entertainment and performance sector and guide artists towards “core socialist values”.


    “Celebrities are seen as a weapon in the Party’s ideological battle, which is fought across all sectors all the time,” said Jonathan Sullivan, Director of China Programmes at the University of Nottingham.





    China has long sought to control the creative arts, from censoring movies to literature. However, a boom in online media has prompted a new push to cleanse the arts world, as President Xi Jinping looks to tighten his grip over a huge and diverse cultural scene popular with China’s youth.


    That drive has created a dragnet that has swept over the creative arts, leaving few unaffected.


    Fangu, a grunge band from Beijing, which has toured across China, said it had hit an issue with its name, which translates literally as “anti-bone”, though means something closer to “rebellious spirit”.



    Fangu, a grunge band from Beijing, which has toured across China, said it had hit an issue with its name, which translates literally as “anti-bone”, though means something closer to “rebellious spirit”.


    The band was forced to change its name this week ahead of a concert in Shanghai.


    “The relevant bodies do not allow the word ‘anti’ so we have to change the name temporarily,” Qi Tian, an assistant to the band, told Reuters.



    ideo game makers have had to tweak their offerings to add patriotic Chinese elements. Others have simply seen approvals withheld. Big media platforms have been rapped for not censoring their content enough and some have had to take sites offline.


    A report this month from a state university and circulated in official media, ranked Chinese stars in order of their social responsibility, including their moral conduct - underscoring an increasingly puritanical focus on good behavior.





    Fan came in last place with zero points.


    The ongoing shake-up is also hitting China’s burgeoning movie and entertainment industry hard. Share prices of related companies tanked after the government probe was announced and many are conducting self-checks on their tax situations.


    Claire Dong, partner and attorney at Beijing-based Tiantai law firm, said there has been a surge of consulting requests since Fan got into hot water.





    New policies are swiftly eroding the favorable tax treatment that actors and artists once enjoyed.


    “This is what the government needed to do,” Dong said. “The government needed to guide the actors to be more focused on acting, not money making.” ($1 = 6.8528 Chinese yuan renminbi)






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    China orders actress Fan Bingbing to pay $70M tax fine

    BEIJING — Chinese tax authorities have ordered “X-Men” star Fan Bingbing and companies she represents to pay taxes and penalties totaling $130 million, ending months of speculation over one of the country’s highest-profile entertainers since she disappeared from public view three months ago.

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

    Fan would not be investigated for criminal responsibility for tax evasion as long as the taxes, fines and late fees amounting to nearly 900 million yuan ($130 million) were paid on time, the report said.

    The announcement gave no indication as to Fan’s whereabouts but indicated her agent was being held by police for allegedly obstructing the investigation.

    Fan has starred in dozens of movies and TV series in China and is best known internationally for her role as Blink in 2014’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” a cameo in the Chinese version of “Iron Man 3,” and star turns on the red carpet at Cannes as recently as May. Before her disappearance, she had been booked to star with Penelope Cruz in the Hollywood film “355.” She has a role in the upcoming Bruce Willis-Adrien Brody feature “Air Strike.”

    Fan posted an apology on her official account on the social media site Weibo.com saying that she accepts the tax authorities’ decision and would “try my best to overcome all difficulties and raise funds to pay back taxes and fines.”

    “I am unworthy of the trust of the society and let down the fans who love me,” she wrote in her first update of her Weibo.com microblog since June 2.

    A man surnamed Liang, who identified himself as a staff member of Fan’s studio when reached by phone, refused to comment on the announcement or on Fan’s location.

    Her disappearance coincided with a crackdown by the authorities on high salaries for actors that can eat up much of the cost of a production. In June, regulators capped star pay at 40 percent of a TV show’s entire production budget and 70 percent of the total paid to all the actors in a film.

    Fan evaded 7.3 million yuan in taxes by using a secret contract worth 20 million yuan that she signed for starring in the film “Air Strike,” the report said. She had instead paid taxes on a contract for only 10 million yuan, Xinhua said. The example described in the report referred to a reportedly common entertainment industry practice — an actor having a public contract stating an official salary and a private contract detailing actual, much higher pay.

    A talk show host, Cui Yongyuan had said in May that Fan had such an arrangement, which allegedly helps facilitate tax evasion, and revealed details that sparked a public outcry. Cui later apologized.

    https://pagesix.com/2018/10/03/china...-70m-tax-fine/
    can't post pics because my computer's broken and i'm stupid

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