Speculation has swirled in recent days about the whereabouts of Chinese actress Fan Bingbing (范冰冰), the star who has appeared in several Marvel films, including X-Men: Days of Future Past. Fan has been missing for more than three months now, ever since she appeared at Cannes to promote a new film alongside such co-stars as Penélope Cruz. This has fueled speculation that the reasons for her disappearance go beyond her reported problems with tax authorities, and that political intrigue might be involved.
Whatever the case, censorship of Fan Bingbing discussion on social media in China appears to be porous and sporadic. Deleted posts do appear in the Weiboscope archive. But a search on Weibo for “Fan Bingbing” also turns up several posts by such prominent media as China Newsweekly and TMTPost discussing her disappearance.
The following is a post made at around 4:31PM on September 13, and censored about one hour later. The Chinese accompanying the image of Fan Bingbing simply reads: “For 100 days . . . ”
Original user id: 刘胜军改革
Date: 2018-09-13 16:31:04
Censored time:: 2018-09-13 17:29:48.727254
This deleted post and others like it would seem to suggest that discussion of Fan Bingbing’s unexplained absence from public view is a sensitive topic. And yet, here is a screenshot of a post made by the official Weibo account of China Newsweekly, a magazine published by the official China News Service, at 3:15AM on September 13. The post, which begins with the headline “Fan Bingbing ‘Missing’ for 100 Days,” is still viewable.