Why Everyone Thinks This Chinese Megastar Has Gone Missing

Isabel Jones

[MUSIC] [SOUND] Coinage. Life, well spent. Presented by Geico. Lady Gaga is the queen of weird. But even though she's emerged from eggs, and dressed herself in raw meat. She has to pay taxes just like the rest of us. Well, maybe not just like the rest of us. Performers of her scale get certain tax write-offs. Things the average Joe wouldn't even think to deduct. She's sold millions for her record label. So, what could Gaga and her team, at Interscope Records, potentially, write off? In reality, stars like Gaga are in contract with entertainment companies who handle their expenses, and taxes, and each stars contract, and what it covers, is complex and unique to them. But, let's pretend that Gaga, herself, is preparing her own tax return, and that she paid for all these expenses out of her own pocket First Gaga's performer image depends heavily on her crazy style. A lot of her outfits are provided to her for free from high end designers but whatever fees her stylist earn from Gaga and Interscope are tax deductible and in addition Gaga's write off for hair and makeup team since being photo ready is her full time job. Gaga can write off fees for her personal trainer too. Being in the spotlight comes with its shortcomings and being swarmed by fans and paparazzi is one of them. Lady Gaga can definitely write off the salaries of her personal security team. Her interscope records team almost certainly includes an army of agents, publicists, lawyers and personal assistants. All of whom can be deducted. Getting to and from all of her publicity events and concerts comes at a price. Gaga can write off some portion of her unreimbursed travel expenses, including her private jet and tour bus, since her job requires her to be all over the world. It's not all glitz and glam though. Gaga is a star who gives back. She can deduct a percentage of the many charitable contributions she's given last year. Gaga's charity organization, the Born This Way Foundation, supports tolerance education and anti-bullying efforts. Last but not least, the accountants handling Lady Gaga's finances in tracking all of these write offs can include their tax preparation fees in her deductions. If the accountants are creative about it, Gaga's tax situation won't be such a bad romance. [MUSIC] Coinage, life well spent, presented by GEICO.

Where in the world in Fan Bingbing?

One of China’s biggest (and most comfortably compensated) actresses appears to be missing, and it seems reports of tax evasion may be the reason why she's vanished without a trace.

Read on to find out everything we know about the 36-year-old’s disappearance.

Who is Fan Bingbing?

Bingbing is one of China’s biggest stars. She reached no. 5 on Forbes’ 2016 ranking of the highest paid actresses in the world, though she hasn’t made the top 10 in the years since. Though most well-known abroad, Fan tapped into American markets with a role in X-Men: Days of Future Past and is featured in two largely American upcoming films: Air Strike (starring Bruce Willis and Adrien Brody) and all-female spy thriller 355, in which she's featured alongside Jessica Chastain, Penelope Cruz, Lupita Nyong’o, and Marion Cotillard.

What precipitated her disappearance?

Fan was last seen in public on July 1, and she hasn’t posted on Instagram or Twitter since late May. Just days prior to her last known sighting, the Chinese government placed a pay cap on actors’ salaries, maintaining that leads cannot earn more than 70% of the full cast’s wages, nor can they be paid more than 40% of the project’s production cost.

Though Bingbing was not directly mentioned in the announcement, the decision came one month after the seemingly backward contract of a top Chinese actress (allegedly Fan) was leaked to the press. Bingbing was accused of using illegal (but not uncommon) Yin-Yang contracts — basically two contracts are produced for tax purposes, but only one is reported to the authorities. In this case, Fan was accused of submitting a contract for her work on film Cell Phone 2 that revealed a salary of $1.56 million when she’d actually earned $7.8 million.

Just days ago, Fan was given a score of 0 (out of 100) on the 2017-18 China Film and Television Star Social Responsibility Report presented by Beijing Normal University. Not a great look.

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What does this mean for Fan’s career?

Though the claims have been disputed by her reps, it’s rumored that Fan is up against a three-year acting ban and erasure from promos for her upcoming film Unbreakable Spirit (Air Strike).

And uh, where do people think she is?

A notoriously unreliable Hong Kong tabloid, Apple Daily, reported in late August that Fan had sought asylum in Los Angeles on the advice of actor Jackie Chan.

Last week, state-run publication Securities Daily reported that Fan had been placed “under control” by the Chinese government and would “accept the legal decision.” Mysteriously, the article disappeared hours later without explanation.