While Chinese actress, Fan Bingbing’s (范冰冰) tax scandal is not quite over, you can definitely say the whirlwind has died down when she came out with a public statement yesterday admitting fault. Although Fan Bingbing might be able to escape prison time, the same might not be true for her long time manager, Mou Guangze (某廣則), who has been detained by the authorities.
It has been reported Mou Guangze allegedly instructed employees under Fan Bingbing’s companies to conceal and destroy incriminating evidence showing falsified accounting documents and financial records when the authorities probed Fan Bingbing in June. He has been accused with obstruction of justice and is on suspicion of committing crimes. Mou Guangze and those involved have already been detained with the investigation of their activities ongoing.
Witch Hunt to Get Others
It doesn’t look like China’s State Administration of Taxation will be done after the dust settles on Fan Bingbing’s case. The tax bureau has already took preemptive measures in setting “Salary Bans”, limiting how much celebrities can charge for appearance fees on variety shows. As a direct effect of the scandal, the tax bureau has started working on new policies to regulate taxation on the film and movie industry.
See related post: Celebrities Asked to Refund Wages Due to China’s New “Salary Ban”
The tax bureau has also also issued a warning to urge entertainment companies and its employees and celebrities who have participated in tax fraud to surrender. The warning states: “By December 31st of this year, for those who initiate to rectify their financial records and repay owed taxes, there will be no administrative punishment and won’t be fined. For those who refuse to rectify their financial affairs, each case will face serious punishment based on the severity of the crime.” This sounds like a Hail Mary and also a warning for those who might have engaged in similar activities as Fan Bingbing that the authorities are coming for them.
Mixed Reactions from Public
When Fan Bingbing finally addressed the public after being silent for over three months, the general consensus was relieved to see the beloved actress was safe and sound after rampant rumors of her whereabouts were circulating. There are also a plethora of messages from netizens saying Fan Bingbing got off the hook with a slap on the wrist, that the punishment should’ve been heavier. There was one particular passive aggressive comment that said, “Everyone can just do the same, since we don’t need to go to jail.” One extreme comment even said, “What use is there in an apology letter? Leave the entertainment industry!”
Even if companies are willing to work with her, will the public be ready to accept her again? News of Fan Bingbing’s return to Weibo didn’t even make it on Weibo’s Hot Trending list, leaving many puzzled. It looks like Fan Bingbing will have to do a lot to remediate her relationship with the public.