Fan Bingbing on her tax evasion ordeal: ‘It has made me calm down’

Chinese actress Fan Bingbing

Last year, Fan Bingbing disappeared from public view for months. There were no social media posts, no red carpet appearances, no fan encounters, nothing. Her family and friends didn’t know where she was. As it turns out, she had been forced into some kind of resort-prison because she had committed tax fraud on a massive scale. After months at the resort-prison (which is how the Western media made it sound, like it’s definitely a prison but she wasn’t being mistreated), Fan released a public apology for tax evasion/fraud and accepted some harsh terms from the Chinese government. Those terms were: pay $70 million in back taxes (for her personal fortune) and her production company owes $60 million in back taxes too. It felt like the Chinese government was like: we’ll let you go but we’re taking all of your money. That was the trade-off.

Since her release, Fan has been making appearances here and there, mostly in Beijing and Shanghai. She hasn’t made many public statements since her lengthy apology last year. But she recently spoke to the New York Times:

Fan Bingbing is opening up about her $70 million tax evasion scandal. In a recent interview with the New York Times, the Chinese star, 37, addressed the scandal and her disappearance from the public eye last year.

“It may be a trough I encountered in my life or in my work, but this trough is actually a good thing,” she told the newspaper. “It has made me calm down and think seriously about what I want to do in my future life.” The actress added, “No one can have smooth sailing throughout the journey.”

The X-Men star made headlines almost a year ago, in September, after she dropped off the radar both in public and on social media. Her disappearance worried fans, who soon began speculating as to her whereabouts. In October, Fan was fined $70 million for tax evasion by Chinese authorities.

“There are regrets, pain and fragility,” she told the Times. “But I still feel that I need to keep on living.”

[From People]

When we spoke about Fan’s case last year, after her release and the $70 million fine, there was some disagreement in the comments about just how harsh her treatment was at the Chinese resort-prison. We still don’t know, and we probably never will know. I want to believe that the Communist Party wouldn’t detain and torture one of their most famous and popular citizens, just because… that could end up backfiring on them, especially if they treated her so badly that she ended up leaving China permanently. That being said, everything from her apology to these quotes to the NY Times make it seem like she went through a very difficult ordeal and she’s grateful to be alive and (moderately) free. “It has made me calm down and think seriously about what I want to do in my future life.” That’s how people describe near-death experiences.

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17 Responses to “Fan Bingbing on her tax evasion ordeal: ‘It has made me calm down’”

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  1. Valiantly Varnished says:

    She most definitely was NOT at a Chinese-resort prison. People really need to educate themselves about what’s going on in China right now. Specifically to their artists and the Muslim population. Muslims are LITERALLY disappearing never to be seen or heard from again from their families.
    I recently read a investigative story on what has been happening to China’s film industry and how the Chinese government is “cracking down” on filmmakers, actors, etc. Its nothing nice. People are literally afraid for their lives.

  2. Harryg says:

    Chinese government is really scary.

  3. JoyBells says:

    We will never know the truth and she will never even let out a peep for her own safety and her family’s.

    She and her fiance also called off their engagement. I wonder if all this took a toll on their relationship.

    Interesting to see how her career goes from here on. She “paid” for the crime, so hopefully she can do well from here on. Wishing her the best.

    • OuiOkay says:

      Yeah. People may think it can’t be that bad or she’d just speak out live abroad since she’s rich and connected. Nah they’d go after her loved ones if she did that

      Who are victims in china ? As mentioned above the Uighur Muslims. Beautiful mosques old and new are literally being bulldozed. Before them there were the Falun Gong, a kooky religion maybe a bit cult like (almost seems inspired by Scientology) who pushed too far, whose people had many organs harvested. Anyone who speaks out. There are protests in HK now but those kind of things can never happen in china. Everyone knows about tianamen right? It was 30 years ago.

      Her skin with that metallic mesh dress, good lord she makes pale skin look amazing. Maybe it’s the makeup or the dark eyes but it she’s so unique looking in that photo.

      • Bo Peep says:

        @ouiokay About the kooky Scientology part of the Falun Gong…they’re also running the channel New Tang Dynasty which supports the alt right and Trump.

        I had no idea until my dad started sounding like an avid reader of Breitbart, and I actually listened to the Chinese American news channel he watched.

        There aren’t English news articles that cover this but turn on New Tang Dynasty during its news time (around 6pm and 9pm?) and they often have subtitles or English documentaries running (Saturday afternoon?) about the moral rot within the Democratic Party, Crooked Hilary, and liberals who don’t care about the economic plight of their own country.

        I see the NTD everywhere in their Shen Yun posters (traditional dance posters all over SF or LA), their YouTube commercials, even their YouTube channels (StrictlyDumpling, TheGreatWall, etc), and no one is talking about them as a leading source of alt right news for first gen Chinese Americans because no one knows.

        The practitioners definitely don’t deserve to have their human rights abused. I’m not comparing their work to that of the Chinese government. It just hurts that the NTD channel has converted my dad, but most people think of Falun Gong as harmless bc this information isn’t accessible.

      • holly hobby says:


        The Chinese American media are all complicit. They state his crap as if it is fact. No where do they say “he lied.” The talk radio makes my ears bleed. Yeah he got the Chinese vote, unfortunately.

      • Bo Peep says:

        @Holly Bolly

        That’s terrible. Which other channels/papers? I want to know. I didn’t realize there were multiple such sources because most first gen Chinese Americans I know are divided, while most 1+ 1/2 gen and 2 gen are firmly against the alt right/Trump. NTD seems to get money from conservative think tanks and conservative women’s groups that are often profiled in their docs. I wonder if the others get theirs from the same source.

      • R. says:

        hmm, falun gong is def not just kooky imho though o_O. (Also did not know they were right-winged O_O) My mother’s cousin was in her time, literally the second best student in whole of China. Meaning all the universities there wanted her and she got fully paid scholarships offers from Ivy leagues as well. She choose for an education in usa and went to work for a cushy job at NASA. At some point she got involved with Falun Gong, branded China (including her own family members) as pure evil, sold everything, quit her job and was extremely paranoid. When her dad died, she didn’t even want to go to the funeral, or see her mum, yet asked through phone if her dad had left something for her. Hope this won’t happen to your dad though o_O. And yeah, I had a little bit of hope with Hu Jin Tao (he was too easy for corruption perhaps, but at least he seemed a bit more open to the world and criticism), but man Xi Jing pin is just plain scary. (And what they are doing to the Uygurs in particular is just horrific and inhuman)
        @holly hobby, are u sure Chinese Americans collectively voted for Trump? Any sources? Not to dismiss you but that would suuuuck if even the younger gen voted for that turd.

      • Bo Peep says:

        @Holly Hobby oops D; sorry for the name misspell in my first comment

        @R. I’m so sorry for what happened to your mom’s cousin. No one’s family should have to go through that experience. I can’t imagine how hard it’s been for your extended family and those close to her.

        The crazy thing is that my dad isn’t a Falun Gong practitioner. At the moment he has no interest in the religion, although I don’t know if that would change in the future.

        He was heavily involved in working for grassroots Democrat campaigns up until 6 years ago. I’m talking like we used to play Mafia with Ted Lieu. Then he was going through a hard time financially, he found out about my sexuality and we had a two year crisis, and all of that just pushed him further right.

        After I moved out, he started avoiding talking politics with me (and previously that was one of our shared interests) but I’d overhear him quoting Breitbart like news. Wechatting me in traditional Chinese instead of simplified even though I can’t read traditional. Is it because Chinese communist party uses simplified? I tried asking him but he dodged my questions. I know I’m just ranting but it’s been so isolating and devastating.

        About young Chinese Americans, I’m fairly sure that most are liberal. Granted, my sample is skewed to liberal areas – big cities in California ha, but even the young first gen Chinese Americans I know tend to be liberal. We get our news from a wider variety of sources than the older first gen do, since the English language barrier limits their options.

    • Eliza says:

      There’s a rumor that a government official is now her boyfriend. Many girls starting out in the film industry there are also used by officials; the government runs the industry. So I’m assuming it’s less about love honestly.

      • holly hobby says:

        I would not be surprised if she buddied up to someone in the party. I’ve read stories where Hong Kong actresses go up to film soaps and then they are “encouraged” to go to dinners with the muckety mucks. Some balk (Jessica Hsuen) but of course others complied. Jessica was pretty vocal about it to the Hong Kong press that’s how people found out.

      • Otaku fairy... says:

        We don’t know for sure, and it’s her story to tell (or not), but the whole situation is scary.