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2011 loan

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Xīnmǎo jièkuǎn | 辛卯借款

Call for “loans” to Ai Weiwei superimposed over a cartoon by Rebel Pepper

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 and decided to “loan” Ai Weiwei the funds needed to pay the fine.

By November 4, 2011, a total of 2,381 people had “lent” Ai Weiwei 665,000 yuan, and by mid-November, supporters had sent Ai more than enough to cover the fines. The artist repaid donors with a rendition of the "Song of the Grass-Mud Horse."

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