China's Weibos Censor Searches About Donations to Help Fund Ai Weiwei's Tax Bill

These screenshots, taken on November 7, 2011, show that searches on Sina's Weibo microblogging service for "Ai Weiwei," (艾未未) "Ai borrow funds," (艾 借款), "Ai donate funds," (艾 捐款) and ""(the email address people can use to make donations) return no results, just a notice saying "In accordance with relevant law, regulations, and policies, search results for "ai XX" have not been displayed." (根据相关法律法规和政策,“艾 捐款”搜索结果未予显示)

The Shanghaiist blog reports:

On Tuesday, dissident-artist Ai Weiwei (艾未未) who was freed not too long ago from an 81-day detention, was slapped with a RMB15 million fine for tax evasion, a princely sum he has been given 15 days to cough up. The very next day, his mother Ai Ying (高瑛) and brother Ai Dan (艾丹) announced that they were mortgaging the former residence of his father, the poet Ai Qing (艾青). Following calls on Twitter by Shanghai human rights lawyer Li Tiantian (李天天) and feminist scholar Ai Xiaoming (艾晓明, no relation) to send money, his supporters also swung into action, setting up Alipay and Paypal accounts to collect donations.

Within just twelve hours, 5,232 donors had wired Ai Weiwei a grand total of RMB1.1 million. The bulk of these donations came from 4,596 Alipay users who sent him RMB862,331, and the rest of the money came via Paypal, bank transfer and postal order, says @duyanpili, a trusted volunteer who is helping to manage the donations. If donations continue to come in at this rate, Ai should be able to raise his RMB15 million within just a week.
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