China’s missing X-Men actress Fan Bingbing: What happened

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Fan Bingbing, 37, may not be a name that well known in America, but she's one of the most famous people in China.

Fan appeared in the X-Men and Iron Man film franchises and has more than 62 million followers online in China.

After the Chinese government confirmed the fines via a report in state-run media outlet Xinhua, Fan took to her Weibo social media account to release a statement.

Her vanishing act sparked wild speculation in China about her fate, including reports she had been detained.

Xinhua said that under Chinese law Fan, as a first-time offender, would face no criminal charges if she complied with the judgment and paid all the money by an undisclosed deadline. Fan has not been seen in public since July. According to SCMP, during her disappearance, Fan was residing at a "holiday resort" in Jiangsu province that is used to house officials under investigation.

"For the past few months, I have experienced pain and torture like never before", she wrote.

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According to Xinhua's report, Fan and her studio were notified on Sunday that they must pay back taxes totaling 288 million yuan, as well as fines amounting to 596 million yuan.

"Without the favorable polices of the Communist Party and state, without the love of the people, there would have been no Fan Bingbing", she added. She admitted in the letter that she had split contracts to avoid paying tax, and promised to pay the back taxes and the fines, in accordance with the tax authorities' order. "I have failed my nurturing country, I have failed society's trust, and I have failed the love of my fans!".

Among the productions singled out by the authorities for criticism is the China-produced, Bruce Willis and Adrien Brody-led World War II flick Air Strike, in which Fan Bingbing made a "special appearance".

Detention would be an extraordinary undoing of the globe-trotting actress, who recently crossed over into American cinema with roles in X-Men: Days of Future Past and Ironman 3.

There was no immediate comment from Fan or a representative for the actor. She is one of five leading worldwide female actors cast in the forthcoming Hollywood spy thriller 355, alongside Jessica Chastain and Penelope Cruz. The women were together at the Cannes Film Festival in May, but a release date for the film has not been announced.

Fan Bingbing attends the Givenchy show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2018 on October 1, 2017 in Paris, France.

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