Fan Bingbing Admits Tax Evasion Tactics: “I’m Deeply Ashamed”

After a four-month investigation, Fan Bingbing (范冰冰) is found guilty of signing “yin yang” filming contracts for tax evasion purposes. Mainland China’s State Administration of Taxation confirmed that Fan Bingbing needs to pay back taxes and fines of 883 million yuan. Issuing an apology statement on her Weibo today, Fan Bingbing said she felt “deeply ashamed” over her wrongdoings.

Despite the hefty sum she owes authorities, the 37-year-old actress should not have any problems paying back the money within the allotted deadline. Last year, Fan Bingbing was the top-earning Chinese artiste with an income of 240 million yuan. Dominating Forbes’ list of most influential Chinese artistes for the past ten years, Fan Bingbing is also a fashion icon and favorite among advertisers. Profiting heavily from her investments and owning several overseas properties, Fan Bingbing’s total worth is estimated to be at least 7 billion yuan.

Missing for 133 days during the tax authorities’ investigation, there were many rumors of Fan Bingbing’s true whereabouts. An anonymous source in the United States claimed that Fan Bingbing had intended to transfer all of her 7 billion assets to the United States and immigrate there.

The tip remained unconfirmed, but may be unlikely as Fan Bingbing was highly apologetic in her public statement released today. She admitted to tax evasion tactics and said she is ready to face the authorities’ punitive measures.

Fan Bingbing Issues Public Apology

Released on October 3, Fan Bingbing’s statement is as follows:

“Recently, I have experienced pain and suffering that I have never experienced before. I have carried out profound reflections. I am deeply ashamed and guilty about what I have done. I sincerely apologize to everyone!

“For a long time, I did not distinguish between national, social, and personal interests. On the set of Air Strike <大轟炸>, I used ‘split contracts’ for tax evasion purposes, an act which I am deeply ashamed of. While coordinating with the tax authorities’ inspections of my company and myself, I have deeply reflected: as a public figure, I should abide by the law, and play a leading role in society and industry. I  should not lose myself in the face of financial interests, relax the rules, and violate the law. Here, I sincerely apologize to society, the friends who care about me, the public, and to the national tax authorities.

“After the tax authorities’ investigation, I will completely accept any punitive measures according to the law. I will try my best to overcome all difficulties to raise funds, pay taxes, and pay fines according to the final decision of the tax authorities.

“From an early age, I have liked performing arts. Coupled with the flourishing of the film and television industries, the support of many seniors and love of the audience, along with my continuous efforts, I made a little achievement in performing arts. As an artiste, I am always proud of being able to showcase my culture on the world stage, and I spare no effort for it. It can be said that each of my achievements cannot be separated from the support of the state and the people. Without the good policies of the party and the state, and without the love of the people, there would be no Fan Bingbing.

“Today, I am deeply unsettled by my own wrongdoings! I disappointed my country’s cultivation towards me, society’s trust, and fans’ love for me! Here, I sincerely apologize to everyone! Please forgive me!

“I believe that after this rectification, I will make sure to closely follow the rules and be responsible.  While giving good productions to everyone, I must also supervise my company management to make sure it is law-abiding, honest, and trustworthy, striving to make it a good company with rich cultural connotations and spread positive energy to the entire society!

“Once again, I sincerely apologize to society, the fans who have always supported me, the friends and family who care for me!”

Sources: [1,2]

This article is written by Jayne for

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  1. The gov’t probably put her up to writing that letter. Doesn’t sound sincere at all.

    If she has a hard time finding good scripts after this, maybe it’ll compel her to work harder for whatever new roles come her way, instead of relying on fashion & aesthetics to boost her standing.

    1. @coralie
      i seriously doubt that she would still have a career in entertainment after this in china. if it was the US, perhaps she could still be casted in b-rated movies but w/ the new social responsility ranking, don’t forget, she’s bottom. no one wants to be linked to her anymore, b/c no one wants the gov knocking on their door.

      1. @m0m0 Ebiz has a different playbook than the real world. Especially since FBB has such a large following. But time will tell.

      2. @coralie

        Chinese e-commerce is largely controlled and influenced by the government. If they want to set FBB as an example, she has little to no chance for success in China.

      3. @anon Exactly, especially with the huge ripple effect that this whole thing already caused in the industry. In addition to the ongoing yin yang contract investigations (which the government already declared are going to continue, as they know it’s a widespread practice in the industry and so there are probably tons more tax evading celebrities out there), the Chinese government is clamping down hard on the industry in general now, which means that more artists will get swept up in things if they aren’t careful. Just today, there was news that some artists are being asked to pay money back to the TV stations due to the government’s new mandate capping individual appearance fees on Mainland variety shows to no more than 10 million RMB – both Vicky Zhao and Shu Qi reportedly had to pay back 40 million RMB to Hunan TV for their appearances on the show Chinese Restaurant (both supposedly received 50 million RMB for appearing on that show, which obviously far exceeded the government’s cap). Rumor has it that the next target on the list is Faye Wong, who was paid a whopping 90 million RMB for appearing on the music variety show PhantaCity (which is also produced by Hunan TV).

        Given the scrutiny this has brought on the industry, FBB may have escaped criminal prosecution, but most likely her career is over…

      4. @llwy12 While I agree most Mainland variety shows centered around chatting and eating and thus easy money for the artists involved, Vicky Zhao’s and Shu Qi’s is different. Together with 3 guys, they were required to grocery shop, prep, cook, serve and clean up all by themselves with no external help. This in Colmar, France. If you look at the appearance of the Taiwanese singer/director Sou YouPeng, his face at the start, midway and at the end of 20 days, there is a significant weight loss. That is why it is the top rated variety show every week since its broadcast.
        Faye Wong was reported paid 100 million RMB and she had to pay back 90 million RMB.

      5. @llwy12 if so then Faye Wong’s career is also over too righhhhhtttt, not to mention the 200 more artists they’re currently investigating righhhhtttt. Please

      6. @anon @IIwy12 – can’t she technically ‘earn’ her way back up via charity work, good public relations, etc.? i’m not so sure china is above money, considering these artists all generate mucho dollares. as long she pays her due from now on, she’s helping the economy, technically.

        can you imagine them banning or persecuting faye wong if she’s found guilty? or never allowing her to do business from then on? that’s unthinkable. the chinese gov’t won’t go there.

      7. @coralie I’ve been a Faye Wong fan pretty much since her debut in the late 80s but if she committed the same crime as FBB I wouldn’t even look twice at her downfall. If celebrities in Asia can lose their career over adultery, drugs, leaked nude pictures, dating scandals (all stuff that I don’t really care about) then I sure as hell hope the careers of those rich celebrity tax evaders evaporate into thin air which I consider an actual crime and harmful to society in comparison to the aforementioned things.

      8. @coralie It’s possible, but the problem is, it’s not the government that’s going to ban her. The government will do what they do and if FBB doesn’t step on their toes again (and holds up her part of whatever agreement she may have come to with the government, such as keeping silent about the details of where she’s been and such), they will likely leave her alone (they will probably still keep a close eye on her though). But she will be stigmatized and most likely, everyone else will be afraid to work with her because they don’t know if associating with her will draw the ire of the government. It’s just like with the whole HK independence thing – any time any artist gets “reported” as possibly supporting HK independence (majority of the time it’s overzealous so-called patriotic Chinese reporting people based on circumstantial hearsay with no solid proof whatsoever), the government actually doesn’t do anything to those artists (in many cases, government doesn’t care enough to even respond), but almost immediately, the companies that were working with those artists “drop” them and those not currently working with those artists will stay far away from them….of course, it also depends on the companies and whether they are willing to take the risk or not, but if they are a Mainland China company, then most likely they won’t want to risk ticking off the government (or possibly bringing scrutiny upon themselves).

        Also keep in mind that FBB isn’t completely in the clear, as there was an article I read that said that someone from her production company in Jiangsu was found to have destroyed accounting records in an attempt to obstruct the investigation, so it’s likely that person will be prosecuted…and there’s no way that she was the only one in her company involved with those contracts – given her stature, most likely other people did all the dirty work for her and all she did was sign her name to the contracts once they were drawn up….so this could very well come back to bite her again later if other people in her company get arrested/prosecuted.

        In terms of the entire Mainland China entertainment industry in general — well, the day of reckoning is definitely coming….according to the statement issued by the Taxation Bureau, they know of more instances (of yin yang contracts and tax evasion by other celebrities / production companies) and are giving those companies until December 31, 2018 to basically out themselves and also pay whatever back taxes they may owe. If they don’t, then the government is going to go after them come January. So basically, this issue isn’t going away any time soon – if anything, it is likely going to spin even more out of control next year after the “self-examination” period is over, especially if no other companies come forward and own up to the yin/yang contract thing…

      9. @llwy12 maybe I can’t see the finer intricacies of this whole fiasco nor how broadly it’ll impact her career, but celebrities have bounced back time & time again. Might take her some time to get back to a new equilibrium (assuming she doesn’t get into more legal issues), but somehow I don’t see this as the end of her. She’s too ambitious and determined

      10. @m0m0 how do you know!! Are you a member of the communist party in China??? She’s bigger than China, she’s international star, if she cat make it there I’m pretty sure she’ll get work somewhere else.

      11. @jimmyszeto

        Exactly, the only time FBB got any exposure in the west was when she was caught in this tax scandal.

        FBB – a Chinese star? Certainly. International star? Hardly.

      12. @anon
        she got exposure in the west several years ago because of the cleavage controversy for Empress Wu. Before this scandal broke out, Hollywood actress Jessica Chastain invited FBB to co-star a film with several big H’wood actresses.

      13. @jimmyszeto She has things like skin whitening and beauty endorsements in quite a few Asian countries, saw her ads plastered everywhere in Thailand when I went recently. It’s not a stretch to say she’s an international star, that’s for sure, however whether she can actually stay one without China is doubtful. I hope her career dies.

      14. @m0m0 It depends on the official. But most likely I think they will through the route of staying low for a few months and then slowly staging her comeback. A few charity events here and there will help, donating to build schools etc. That new social ranking is created by government, so changing the rank is not a problem at all. A tale of redemption is much more interesting for global audience where she admit her sin, repent, vow not to repeat it and begin a new path.

      15. @windy

        years ago, Liu Xiaoqing- a big star of the 80s- was jailed a year for tax evasion. she slowly worked her way back into the public eye and continues to do dramas.

    2. @coralie it does sound very fake. While reading her apology, I wonder if she got off lightly because she’s agree to be doing this, showcasing the goverment’s power and her obedience to them

  2. LOL…reading FBB’s letter actually made me laugh, as it basically checked all the boxes for what a government-mandated (and most likely government-written, in large part anyway) public confession + apology looks like (compare it to the public confessions that all the other people who’ve “wronged” China have given and it’s easy to see the similarities)…when it comes to this kind of stuff, China is oh so predictable!

    The one part that I actually took offense to was FBB saying she is going to “raise funds” to pay the fines…um, what exactly does that mean? We usually use the words “raise funds” to refer to things like charity events and such – so is she saying she doesn’t have enough money to pay all the back taxes she owes (which is BS given her net worth far exceeds whatever she is being asked to pay)? Or is she expecting other people (all of whom are likely less wealthy than her) to help her pay it? Poor choice of wording? Or is FBB really that arrogant and greedy that she can’t bear to part with her own money to pay the fine for a crime she committed?

    1. @llwy12 celebrity tends to have their money lock in investment that isn’t easy to convert to cash. She might have 7 billion net worth, but most likely 5 billions in estates and 2 billions in jewellery, clothes and cash.

      So in such a short time, coughing up almost 1/7 of her net worth is hard lol.

      1. @littlefish Was looking for a comment just like yours.
        I was also going to mention that most of their net worth is most likely tied up.

        It’s exactly like those hostage movies, where a billionaire can’t easily take out millions to pay hostage fees. Because their money is tied up in investments/assets and can’t be easily changed into cash.
        Though Fan Bing Bing will most likely be working with the government and the due date may have been made in light of this.

  3. Not sure if Fan BingBing got off more lightly or Jackie chan’s son. This is not just refusing to make a tax payment. This is manipulation of accounts and contracts avoid multimillions of tax and it brings the country’s system into disrepute. Then she tries to gain public sympathy to sounding like her punishment puts her in a tough situation when it is a small percentage of her net worth. Really glad that caps are put on filming fees now since everyone is looking for easy huge paychecks for barely any work…

    1. @jimmyszeto She definitely got off too lightly…I honestly was expecting jail time (and no, not in a posh hotel either). I mean, she is already the most famous actress in all of China, the highest paid, and also has international fame as well, yet she still felt the need to do this yin yang contract stuff and evade taxes? And by the looks of her so-called apology letter, she doesn’t seem to have any remorse either.

      Agreed about the caps on filming / appearance fees, as it truly WAS getting out of hand. 10 million yuan is already a lot (that’s equivalent to about 1.5 million USD) – ridiculous amount, especially for appearing on some stupid variety show where all you’re basically doing is sitting around looking pretty….

      1. @llwy12
        Al Capone would have shook the federal authorities hand off if offered a fine instead of a decade prison sentence. Fan BingBing got off lightly and funny thing is she is issuing a apology as if it was a minor mistake. Either she does not have a grasp of the significance of her crime or she is trying to fool the public into thinking its a small thing…

      2. @llwy12 “And by the looks of her so-called apology letter, she doesn’t seem to have any remorse either.”

        Fan Bingbing’s letter is a dog and pony show to give the Chinese government face. It speaks with such reverence to the government in every sentence.

        Tax authorities were aware of Fan Bingbing and other celebrities’ tax evasion earlier, but media exposure put pressure for authorities to act more urgently. It is unbelievable that she has been able to evade taxes of such large amounts and authorities were still in a “watch mode”. They could definitely have acted a lot earlier.

        Fan Bingbing’s letter gives the impression that she may have already had discussion with tax authorities over what the “punitive measures” will be. They seem to be only fines on back taxes. Don’t think she will be blacklisted from future projects. Maybe she will maintain a lower profile for a few months, but eventually she will come back. Her connections in the industry run too deep for her to just disappear.

        The way her case was handled, the government may be making an example, but only in a way that saves them face. It is a warning to other celebrities, don’t disgrace the government so openly in a public way.

      3. @jayne I completely agree with you, Jayne. The government is giving her punishment just because they have to. And if they want to do harsher punishment they couldn’t, because they are worried the west will call them out. This whole thing feel like the government is damn either way!

      4. @llwy12 @anon @coralie @kidd @jimmyszeto Every day people are not earning enough money and are suffering because they cannot support their family. Instead of money being spread around fairly to help the poor extremely high amounts of money are being given to celebrities to spend on expensive useless crap, like mansions, luxury cars, yachts, designer clothes and brand name watches which they don’t need. Thus, celebrities are earning way too much, more than they can handle!

        Celebrities are way too greedy, shallow and materialistic. Honestly the amount of money that they earn, is already more than enough to settle for life and feed 10 families and it still wasn’t enough for them. They still felt the need to evade tax? Most of these celebrities had already reached the millionaire or the billionaire status. Seriously how much more money is consider enough for them? Despite being multi millionaires, they are still not satisfied and continually strive for more wealth, status and fame. It really makes me wonder how much money do celebrities spend on a daily basic? If a ordinary citizen had a million dollars, they would’ve retired already and settle for life.

        I guess the biggest reason why celebrities never have enough money are due to their lavish lifestyle. It’s because they’re materialistic, and they’re putting the added pressure on themselves to consume fancy cars, mansions, and a variety of luxury material possessions that they actually don’t need. For these people, it isn’t enough to have $1 million; they want $4 million, and those individuals with $4 million want $10 million and so forth. They have so much, yet it’s not enough because lifestyles expectations increase as their net worths soar.

  4. I guess since she is a big celebrity she didn’t have to do the crying video like all those small potatoes had to do.

  5. The public apology letter is so fake. Like many here, I think she is just following a script written by the government.

    “Without the good policies of the party and the state, and without the love of the people, there would be no Fan Bingbing”
    “my achievements cannot be separated from the support of the state”

    Yes, without the love of the people, there would be no Fan Bing Bing. But, her success has nothing to do with the state. It was through her own hard work, ingenuity, business sense etc. All the state ever do is impede the development of the performing art industry by banning this and that. Their policy is actually detrimental to the industry.

    1. @kidd

      cleaning up corruption and tax evasion in the entertainment industry is supported by the general population in china. people are incensed about the obscene pay for idols with little talent, leaving a pittance for those who work behind the scenes.
      banning exorbitant pay for big names will increase money to enhance production values of dramas.

      1. @msxie0714

        The banning I’m taking about is not the price cap but the following
        – banning of time travel theme
        – limiting costume drama per year
        – banning ‘effeminate’ actors
        – banning ghost stories
        – banning Korean actors
        – banning certain series because it ‘disrespect history’
        – banning the remake of the 4 classic novels because it ‘disrespect the classics’
        – banning anything else they don’t like

      2. @kidd

        despite the banning of time travel themes, there’s still so many dramas currently produced with that theme. I think they ought to put a cap on that and the unending number of remakes.

  6. Fund raise really my god she really is over the top with money. Smh if she can she’ll probably go marry her money.

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