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Strong Online Rumors: Fan Bingbing Has Allegedly Been Arrested in Wuxi

Businessman Huang Yiqing claims on Weibo that the actress has been detained.

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Strong rumors about an alleged arrest of Fan Bingbing, one of China’s most famous actresses, are making their way around Chinese social media today. Fan Bingbing has been at the centre of a tax evasion scandal for the past months.

The Chinese actress Fan Bingbing (范冰冰) has been arrested, sources on Weibo claim.

Rumors about Fan’s arrest come from Huang Yiqing (黄毅清), the ex-husband of famous Chinese actress Huang Yi (黄奕). On August 31, Huang Yiqing posted on his Weibo account (@AndyHYQ) (3.3 million followers):

Some breaking news – I just spoke to a friend whose wife works at the Wuxi prosecutor’s office, who has confirmed that Fan Bingbing has indeed been arrested.”

Wuxi, in Jiangsu province, is where Fan’s studio is based.

Since 2013, it is illegal to spread rumors on Chinese social media; people spreading ‘malicious’ messages that are forwarded more than 500 times could potentially face legal punishment.

Huang later added:

You should know, I’m not just posting fabricated stuff on Weibo for sensationalism to attract attention. I wouldn’t do anything that low.(..) Things I post I know are from a trustworthy source.

Huang Yiqing was the second husband of Huang Yi. He is a businessman and chairman of the Super Sports Car Club in Shanghai.

Famous Weibo blogging account ‘Labi Xiaoqiu’ (@辣笔小球), run by journalist Qiu Ziming (仇子明), also wrote about Fan Bingbing today, suggesting that the actress has already been “taken away” in July, and further adding that she has since also separated from her partner Li Chen (李晨).

 
Fan Bingbing’s Tax Evasion Scandal
 

Fan Bingbing, the highest-paid actress in China, found herself at the center of a social media storm in late May of this year. The actress allegedly received a total payment of 60 million yuan ($9.3 million) for just four days work on the film Cell Phone 2, of which she would have only declared 10 million ($1.56 million) to authorities.

As reported by Radii, the tax scandal first came to light when Chinese TV host Cui Yongyuan (崔永元) leaked two different contracts on social media; the one that allegedly showed that the actress was paid a total of 10 million RMB for her work, with another showing a payment of 50 million RMB for the exact same work.

These types of contracts are called yin-yang contracts (阴阳合同), an illegal practice to avoid paying taxes.

Cui Yongyuan and Fan Bingbing.

Cui later apologized for his posts, Shanghaiist writes, suddenly claiming that Fan actually had nothing to do with the two contracts.

But tax investigations into the matter had already started.

Throughout summer, international media wrote about the ‘disappearance’ of Fan Bingbing, who was not spotted in public since July 1st. Some sources claimed the actress was banned from acting for three years.

In late July, reports came out saying that Fan was banned from traveling abroad amid the tax evasion investigation.

From Fan’s Weibo account, image promoting Fan Bingbing beauty brand.

Fan Bingbing has starred in many famous films, such as I Am Not Madame Bovary (2016) or X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014). She also starred in the 2014 highly successful drama series The Empress of China.

Fan is among the top popular celebrities on Weibo; she has more than 62 million fans on her Weibo account, but has not posted anything since early June.

No official media have yet confirmed whether or not Fan Bingbing has indeed been arrested. There are conflicting articles going around, however, posted by other Chinese-language media, suggesting that Fan was in the middle of the process of getting an American visa approved.

“According to @AndyHYQ, Fan is already detained. According to outside media, she already had her American visa. What’s the deal?”, some netizens wonder.

“We already haven’t seen her for 91 days,” others say: “Where is she?”

By Manya Koetse and Miranda Barnes

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us.

©2018 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    anon

    September 2, 2018 at 8:05 am

    Wang Yi’s ex-husband is hardly a credible news source. Fan Bingbing doesn’t have a ‘husband’ so far. She and Li Chen are engaged but have yet to tie the knot.

  2. Avatar

    Jeff

    September 13, 2018 at 11:44 am

    Actually,Fan Bingbing is notorious in China.She sleep around just for fame.

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China Celebs

Female Comedian Yang Li and the Intel Controversy

A decision that backfired: Intel’s act of supposed ‘inclusion’ caused the exclusion of female comedian Yang Li.

Manya Koetse

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“How to look at the boycott of Yang Li?” (#如何看待抵制杨笠#) became a top trending topic on social media site Weibo on Monday after female comedian Yang Li was dismissed as the spokesperson for American tech company Intel over a controversial ad campaign.

On March 18, Intel released an ad on its Weibo account in which Yang says “Intel has a taste [for laptops] that is higher than my taste for men” (“英特尔的眼光太高了,比我挑对象的眼光都高.”)

The ad drew complaints for allegedly insulting men, with some social media users vowing to boycott the tech brand. On Sunday, Intel deleted the ad in question from its social media page and reportedly also removed Yang from her position as their brand ambassador.

The commotion over the ad had more to do with Chinese comedian Yang Li (杨笠) than with the specific lines that were featured in it.

Yang Li is controversial for her jokes mocking men (“men are adorable, but mysterious. After all, they can look so average and yet be so full of confidence“), with some blaming her for being “sexist” and “promoting hatred against all men.”

Since she appeared on the stand-up comedy TV competition Rock and Roast (脱口秀大会) last year, she was nicknamed the the “punchline queen” and became one of the more influential comedians in present-day China. Yang now has nearly 1,5 million fans on Weibo (@-杨笠-).

Yang Li’s bold jokes and sharp way of talking about gender roles and differences between men and women in Chinese society is one of the main reasons she became so famous. Intel surely knew this when asking Yang to be their brand ambassador.

In light of the controversy, the fact that Intel was so quick to remove Yang also triggered criticism. Some (male) netizens felt that Intel, a company that sells laptops, could not be represented by a woman who makes fun of men, while these men are a supposed target audience for Intel products.

But after Yang was removed, many (female) netizens also felt offended, suggesting that in the 21st century, Intel couldn’t possibly believe that their products were mainly intended for men (“以男性用户为主”)? Wasn’t their female customer base just as important?

According to online reports, Intel responded by saying: “We noted that the content [we] spread relating to Yang Li caused controversy, and this is not what we had anticipated. We place great importance on diversity and inclusion. We fully recognize and value the diverse world we live in, and are committed to working with partners from all walks of life to create an inclusive workplace and social environment.”

However, Intel’s decision backfired, as many wondered why having Yang as their brand ambassador would not go hand in hand with ‘promoting an inclusive social environment.’

“Who are you being ‘inclusive’ too? Common ‘confident’ men?”, one person wrote, with others saying: “Why can so many beauty and cosmetic brands be represented by male idols and celebrities? I loathe these double standards.”

“As a Chinese guy, I really think Yang Li is funny. I didn’t realize Chinese men had such a lack of humor!” another Weibo user writes.

There are also people raising the issue of Yang’s position and how people are confusing her performative work with her actual character. One popular law blogger wrote: “Really, boycotting Yang Li is meaningless. Stand-up comedy is a performance, just as the roles people play in a TV drama.”

Just a month ago, another Chinese comedian also came under fire for his work as a brand ambassador for female underwear brand Ubras.

It is extremely common in China for celebrities to be brand ambassadors; virtually every big celebrity is tied to one or more brands. Signing male celebrities to promote female-targeted products is also a popular trend (Li 2020). Apparently, there is still a long way to go when the tables are turned – especially when it is about female celebrities with a sharp tongue.

By Manya Koetse

Li, Xiaomeng. 2020. “How powerful is the female gaze? The implication of using male celebrities for promoting female cosmetics in China.” Global Media and China, Vol.5 (1), p.55-68.

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©2021 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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China Celebs

The Online Hit of the China-US Meeting in Alaska: Interpreter Zhang Jing

While the China-US meeting is all the talk, it is interpreter Zhang Jing who has hit the limelight.

Manya Koetse

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It probably was not easy to translate the tough talks at the high-level meeting between the U.S. and China in Anchorage. Chinese female translator Zhang Jing became an online hit in China for remaining unflustered, graceful, and accurate.

Over the past days, the U.S.-China strategic talks in Anchorage have been a major topic of discussion on Chinese social media.

The first major U.S.-China meeting of the Biden administration ended on Friday, March 19. Despite the tense start of the meeting and some describing the talks as a “diplomatic clash,” China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi (杨洁篪) called the meeting “frank, constructive and helpful,” New York Times reports.

While international media focused on the meeting and what their outcome means for Sino-American relations and the foreign strategies of China and the U.S., many Weibo users focused on interpreter Zhang Jing (张京) who joined the meeting.

One video of the first session of the diplomatic talks shows how Yang Jiechi starts his response to the American side at 8.30 minutes, going on for over 15 minutes until the 24.36-minute mark. Next to him, interpreter Zhang Jing is fiercely taking notes.

When Yang is finished speaking, he glances to foreign minister Wang Yi on his right to let him speak, after which Zhang says, “Shall I first translate?”

While the U.S. side was awaiting the translation, Yang then says: “Ok, you translate,” adding in English: “It’s a test for the interpreter,” after which the American side says “We’re gonna give the translator a raise!”

Zhang then goes ahead and calmly translates Yang’s entire 15-minute speech directed at American secretary Blinken and national security advisor Sullivan.

To give a speedy translation of such a lengthy off-the-record speech is seen as a sign of Zhang’s utmost professionalism as an interpreter, which many on Weibo praise. “She’s my idol,” multiple people write.

On Sunday, the hashtag “China-U.S. Talks Female Interpreter Zhang Jing” (#中美对话女翻译官张京#) had reached 200 million views.

It’s not the first time for Zhang to become an online hit. She was previously also called “the most beautiful interpreter” of the National Congress in 2013.

Zhang Jing is a graduate of the China Foreign Affairs University (外交学院) and has been working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 2007.

Being an interpreter is generally regarded an exciting and attractive job by many Chinese netizens, as the career involves much traveling and international contacts. But the ability to master another language than Chinese is also often admired.

In 2016, a TV drama titled The Interpreters (亲爱的翻译官) became a major hit, featuring Chinese actress Yang Mi who plays a Chinese-French interpreter on her way to start her professional career.

“Translators are usually the ‘heroes behind the scenes’,” one commenter writes, pointing out how rare it is for an interpreter to hit the limelight like this.

“There are still people saying it’s not important to learn English,” another Weibo user writes: “But if that were true, how could we educate brilliant interpreters like Zhang Jing? How else could we quarrel with Americans at the conference table?!”

Many who write about Zhang on Weibo say that she is an example or a role model to them: “I hope that my spoken English one day would be as excellent as hers. This motivates me to try even harder.”

By Manya Koetse

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©2021 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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