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2011 loan

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辛卯借款 (xīn mǎo jiè kuǎn): 2011 loan

In late 2011, Chinese tax authorities ordered dissident artist Ai Weiwei to pay 15 million yuan ($2.4 million) in back taxes and fines allegedly due from the company he works for.

At the time of receiving the tax notice, Ai had recently been released on bail after having been detained for 81 days, and netizens perceived the tax fine as continuing punishment for his political activities. Netizens decided to “loan” Ai Weiwei the funds needed to pay the fine.

As of November 4, 2011, a total of 2,381 people had “lent” Ai Weiwei 665,000 yuan.