SINGAPORE - Actress Gong Li is said to be giving up Singapore citizenship, after reportedly being blacklisted by the Chinese government for holding a foreign passport.
The 55-year-old is allegedly renouncing her citizenship due to sweeping crackdowns on the Chinese entertainment industry and reapplying to be a Chinese citizen, according to rumours which began circulating on the Internet last week.
These rumours come in the wake of Hong Kong actor Nicholas Tse renouncing his Canadian citizenship last month. Famed Chinese director Chen Kaige's son, actor Arthur Chen Feiyu, who was born in the United States, also renounced his US citizenship in August.
Tse and Gong were both on a rumoured blacklist of artistes who hold foreign citizenship.
Top Chinese actress Vicki Zhao, who was abruptly erased from the Internet in China in August, was also said to be on this list as she is a Singapore permanent resident.
Gong, who married Singaporean tycoon Ooi Hoe Seong in 1996, was granted Singapore citizenship in 2008.
The internationally renowned star of movies such as Raise The Red Lantern (1991) and Memoirs Of A Geisha (2005) retained the citizenship even after the couple's divorce in 2009.
She subsequently married French electronic musician Jean-Michel Jarre that same year and now lives in France.
The latest rumour was greeted with cheers by Chinese netizens, who welcomed her back after years of jeers at her for turning her back on her country.
However, on local forums, there were snide remarks from Singaporeans about her using Singapore as a stepping stone while not contributing to the country, as well as jokes that she can now withdraw her CPF in full.
Others wondered if martial arts star Jet Li, who also holds Singapore citizenship, will be next to give it up.