BEIJING, Sept 11 ― China's highest paid movie star Fan Bingbing, who has not been seen in public since July, was placed last in an academic report ranking A-list celebrities on their social responsibility.
Fan vanished not long after state-run TV suggested the contract with her entertainment company misrepresented what she earned so she could pay less in taxes. Fan scored a zero out of 100.
The ranking has split fans online, with many jumping to Fan's defence.
While the host never gave her name, fans were easily able to figure out that he was talking about Fan Bingbing.
Latest reports from China claimed the "Queen of the Silver Screen" had been detained by Beijing over the tax evasion claims and is not likely to return to her acting career. It was also a marked contrast to her fiance - Chinese actor Li Chen - who ranked high on the list at seven with a score of 61.8.
One user wrote on Weibo, China's equivalent to Twitter: "What kind of a report is this?"
A statement released by Fan's studio said she was the victim of "slander" but did not dispute the authenticity of the documents.
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Fan has not been seen in public in over two months, and has reportedly become caught up into an investigation over what are known as "yin-yang contracts" among stars, where one contract lists the actor's real salary while another with a smaller figure is submitted to tax authorities.
After the documents posted by Cui went viral, the state tax administration was reportedly investigating alleged use of such dual contracts in the entertainment industry in eastern Jiangsu province.
A report in the Securities Daily newspaper last week said she had been put "under control" and would "accept the legal judgement", although it did not say what crime she had committed and the article was taken down shortly after it was posted.
Fan, who is known in the West for playing Blink in X-Men: Days of Future Past and appearing in I Am Not Madame Bovary, has been at the centre of swirling rumours involving a flit to the U.S. and being placed "under control" by the Chinese authorities due to her unexplained absence. And in the weeks since, the mystery surrounding her disappearance from public view has only deepened amid speculation that she ran afoul of Chinese authorities.
If there's anyone who personifies China's celebrity culture, Fan is it.
There has been no news from Fan's team and a visit by Phoenix Television to her office showed that the premises have been vacated.
Here are the top five highest paid celebrities in China a year ago, according to Forbes China.