“If you are a billionaire, then that is something that obviously you can enjoy to a certain extent, but you’ve got to be very, very wary that you don’t at any stage cross a red line of some sort and fall afoul of the Chinese Communist Party,” Fergus Ryan, a cyber analyst with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, told CNN.
There is precedent for the alleged Bingbing situation. Ai Weiwei, a well-known Chinese artist, was detained for three months in 2011. He was later released after signing a confession related to tax evasion.
Bingbing’s purported problems began when alleged copies of a film contract she had signed were leaked onto China’s social media in late May.
A Chinese tabloid, Global Times, leaked a contract of Bingbing’s onto the net. The leak showed she had two different contracts – one showing she was paid $1.5 million (10 million yuan), the other for $7.5 million (50 million yuan). The two contracts are part of what is known in China as “yin-yang contracts,” in which the smaller of the two is reported for tax purposes.
Bingbing’s representatives denied the existance of the two contracts, even as authorities called for an investigation. But since then, she has not been seen.