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After subjecting Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei to months of detention, the Chinese regime is now demanding $2.4 million dollars from him—and they expect it in 15 days, or else. But from around China is coming an unexpected wave of support. Here's the story.
The BBC reports that as of Monday morning, 790-thousand dollars has been raised.
The Chinese regime has given Ai Weiwei 15 days to pay nearly two and half million dollars in alleged back taxes. And that was several days ago. And while raising that much money in such a short time may seem impossible, it actually might not be.
On Friday, a handful of Ai's supporters began sending him "loans" over an online payment platform called Alipay. They call themselves Ai's "creditors." In a few short hours, donations came flooding in. By mid-afternoon, over 60-thousand dollars had been given to Ai. By the next day, that number had reached 150 thousand, given by nearly 4,000 supporters—many from mainland China.
In an interview with NTD, Ai's mother Gao Ying said she feared the Chinese regime was, "Pressing Ai Weiwei in order to force him into a corner."
So far, several high profile figures have contributed. One of the earliest donors was prominent human rights activist Hu Jia. He was released from prison in June after a 40-month sentence for "inciting subversion of state power." This was around the time Ai was released from his 81-day detention.
Whether Ai Weiwei will be able to raise enough money by the 15-day deadline, or what will happen if he doesn't, remains to be seen. Some have speculated that Alipay, based in China, might be shut down before the 2.4-million can be raised.