8 Nov 2011

Money rolls in for Chinese artist facing massive tax bill

9:41 am on 8 November 2011

Chinese artist and government critic Ai Weiwei says thousands of his supporters have donated money to help him pay a tax bill of $US2.4 million.

He says he has so far received about $US790,000, or about five million yuan.

Most of it has come via the internet and bank transfers but Mr Ai says some supporters even folded money into paper planes and threw them into his home.

Many people believe he was served the bill because of his outspoken criticism of the government rather than because he had evaded taxes, the BBC reports.

Mr Ai says he is amazed at the gestures of solidarity, which he describes as political in nature.

However, the artist could now be accused of illegal fundraising, according to unnamed experts cited in an editorial in China's English-language Global Times newspaper.