BEIJING — Fan Bingbing is to be fined nearly $130 million for tax evasion, China state news outlet Xinhua said on Wednesday, the first public notice the government has issued about the actress and fashion darling’s business dealings since she became embroiled in financial scandal.
According to the statement, the actress owes $42 million in late taxes and fees, along with a fine of $86 million. Fan was accused of using “yin-yang contracts,” which divert payments into a company owned by the actress in order to lower her tax liability.
The statement did appear to offer a resolution to the months-long drama, saying she would avoid criminal charges if paid by an unspecified deadline.
The investigation into Fan’s finances has sent chills throughout China’s burgeoning film industry as the practice is fairly common, leading some to question why she was targeted and how one of China’s most bankable and A-list stars could fall so quickly.
Fan ranked as China’s best-paid actress four years running, according to Forbes, and places among the world’s best paid. Since the scandal erupted, she has vanished from the public eye. The actress has not been seen since June, sparking rumors that she may have been placed under house arrest.
Until this incident, Fan was a constant on the red carpet and often made high-profile appearances, showing up to the Cannes Film Festival and the Met Gala in couture pieces, and on stage at events such as Alibaba’s Singles’ Day gala. With more than 60 million Weibo followers, she was tapped by fashion brands as an ambassador from Mont Blanc, Guerlain, De Beers, to H&M. Fan also has her own cosmetics line, which was launched at the start of this year.