Ai has been “crowdsourcing” his tax payments, as netizens have been organizing payments from fans online. Penn Olson has the scoop:
Now, Ai has been hit with a $2.4 million tax bill, although he says that the police confiscated all of his company’s financial documents while he was being detained and they have not received any evidence indicating he really owes this much. Ai has vowed to fight these charges “to the death” but his netizen fans have clearly decided to help him out, too. His friends have been tweeting ways netizens can use to donate him money
But it’s not purely a donation:
Some of the netizens organizing the campaign have asked donors to provide personal info so that they can be paid back, but exactly when and how that might happen are as yet unclear.
According to the Christian Science Monitor, “More than 1,600 supporters had pledged or paid more than 400,000 RMB ($63,500) by mid-afternoon on Friday, just a few hours after the wave of donations began to surge, the artist said.”
Ai’s microblog account with Sina Weibo, a Twitter-like Chinese site, gave details to donors or lenders instructing them how send money either electronically through a local Paypal clone, or more traditionally by bank or post office transfer.