Chinese star Fan Bingbing re-emerges after tax scandal

Chinese actress and member of the Feature Film jury Fan Bingbing poses as she arrives on May 28, 2017 for the closing ceremony of the 70th edition of the Cannes Film Festival. (AFP)

Chinese superstar Fan Bingbing has reappeared in public following a year’s absence from the spotlight, after authorities targeted her in a crackdown on tax evasion in the entertainment industry.

The 37-year-old actress, model, singer and producer has been a ubiquitous household name in China for years and crossed over to Hollywood fame with a role in the 2014 blockbuster “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”

But she disappeared from the public eye and her once prolific social media presence went silent last May after allegations emerged she had evaded taxes on a lucrative movie shoot - charges denied by her studio.

Over the past year, she was not seen in public and only rarely appeared on social media.

She made a return to the spotlight on Monday, walking down the red carpet at a Beijing party for Chinese online video platform iQiyi.

Fan posted pictures of herself on Instagram wearing a pink and black Alexander McQueen pantsuit and carrying a Louis Vuitton bag at the gala.

Supporters cheered her return on the photo sharing platform, writing “I missed you” and “The queen is back” - though others complained that she had escaped stricter punishment by tax officials.

Fan topped Forbes magazine’s list of top-earning Chinese celebrities with income of 300 million yuan ($44 million) in 2017.

In October, authorities ordered her to pay 883 million yuan in back taxes, fines and penalties as part of a wider crackdown on the entertainment industry.

She also apologized to China’s Communist Party and her nearly 63 million fans on China’s popular Weibo social media platform.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:55 - GMT 06:55