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2011 loan

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Xīnmǎo jièkuǎn | 辛卯借款

In late 2011 (a Xīnmǎo year in the Sexagenary cycle), Chinese tax authorities ordered dissident artist Ai Weiwei to pay 15 million yuan (US$2.4 million) in alleged back taxes and fines.

When he received the tax notice, Ai had just been released on bail after an 81-day detention. Netizens perceived the 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.

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