China will launch a tax evasion investigation into the country’s film and TV industries, the bureau for taxation said in an official statement posted to its website Sunday.
Last week, Cui posted images of multiple documents on a social media account that he claimed were copies of different contracts signed by the actress for the same job. Fan has denied any wrongdoing and hired lawyers to defend her, but the well-known local practice of signing multiple contracts for the same job — known as so-called “yin-yang” contracts, in which a contract of lower value is the one declared to the authorities to avoid taxation — has sparked the state crackdown.
The State Administration of Taxation didn’t name the actress in its statement of intent but has asked local taxation offices in the southern province of Jiangsu, among others, to carry out investigations.
This latest move by the government continues its theme of tackling corruption in the lucrative entertainment sector. Last year it launched a campaign to tackle box office fraud and earlier this year it brought oversight of the biz under closer governmental control after doing away with regulatory body State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.
Fan, a huge star in her native China, was recently cast in Simon Kinberg’s spy sisterhood thriller 355 alongside Jessica Chastain and Penelope Cruz. Forbes listed her as the world’s fifth-highest paid actress in 2016, with earnings of approximately $17 million, and in 2017 she sat on the Cannes Competition jury.
In 2002, Chinese actress Liu Xiaoqing was imprisoned for a year for tax evasion.