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Legal fight lost, Ai Weiwei starts repaying fans' loans

Ai Weiwei says he has started returning money to supporters who had sent him $1.3 million over the past months

AP, Friday 2 Nov 2012
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Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei says he's started returning money to his supporters after exhausting all legal channels to fight a massive tax bill. The supporters gave him the cash after the government levied a $2.4 million tax bill on Ai's design firm last year, in what his backers saw as punishment for his activism.

Ai used the money sent him to pay a $1.3 million guarantee that the tax bureau required before he was allowed to challenge the tax bill. Ai said at the time he was treating the money as a loan that he would repay.

Ai said Wednesday the firm has started returning the money to his supporters. He lost a final appeal in his tax case late last month.

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