A group of men had created a scene at a Beijing hotel where Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi resided and later splashed black paint on a giant window advertisement featuring the starlet, sparking speculation that she is involved in some sort of dispute.

Swarms of reporters gathered at the Park Hyatt Beijing hotel lobby on 23 December hoping to catch Hong Kong actress Maggie Cheung and her German boyfriend Ole Schreen after a tip-off that the couple were getting engaged at a restaurant at the hotel.

Cheung and her boyfriend were a no-show but reporters spotted Zhang going for a walk with her niece instead. The actress was rumoured to be residing in a luxury apartment at the hotel.

Zhang was immediately surrounded by reporters but managed to escape from the mob.

Later that night at around 11pm, a small group of men dressed in black and sporting sunglasses got off a car and barged into the hotel lobby, demanding that security officers tell them which floor Zhang stayed on.

They then shouted expletives and proclaimed loudly that Zhang had “cheated people of their money” and “seduced someone else’s husband”.

Half an hour later, two men in hooded jackets pulled up at the hotel’s main entrance in the same car as the earlier group and proceeded to splash black paint onto a window advertisement featuring Zhang at a nearby luxury timepiece store.

These bizarre events have led to speculation that Zhang, 30, is involved in a dispute with a businesswoman friend.

According to Chinese media reports, Zhang was in a joint business venture with a friend, however her friend claimed that the actress and her brother Zhang Zinan cheated her of about 200 million yuan (S$40 million) and their relationship soured.

She also accused Zhang of stealing her husband and the two even had an altercation that got physical at the Park Hyatt Beijing hotel.

In response to that night’s events and the speculations that followed, Zhang’s agent said in an online statement that the actress “had always focused on her film career and was never involved in any joint business ventures”.

“We have reported the matter to the police and will take all necessary legal action to protect our dignity,” her agent said.

Zhang was engaged to Israeli multi-millionaire Vivi Nevo in February 2008 and the couple were supposed to tie the knot in August this year. However, their relationship has reportedly cooled and their wedding plans have been called off.

Vivi had recently been spotted with a string of beautiful women while Zhang is said to be seeing someone new as well. Who this ‘someone’ is and his marital status remains a mystery.