Lifestyle & Belief

Ai Weiwei vows to challenge $2.4 million tax bill


Chinese artist Ai Weiwei sits in the courtyard of his home in Beijing on November 7, 2010.


Peter Parks

The Chinese artist Ai Weiwei said Friday he would challenge the 15-million yuan ($2.4 million) tax bill he has been ordered to pay by Chinese authorities.

Ai, who disappeared into police custody for three months earlier this year, said he planned to use money collected from supporters to lodge an appeal, the Taiwan News reported.

Read more on GlobalPost: Supporters donate towards Ai Weiwei tax bill

A million dollars in donations were sent to Ai, who helped design the "Bird's Nest" stadium built for the Beijing Olympics, after he revealed how much he had been ordered to pay after authorities accused him of evading taxes.

Under Chinese law, a monetary guarantee is required to make an appeal. Ai needs to pay the tax bill by Tuesday, and will need to put up more than half of the money donated as collateral to begin legal proceedings, the BBC reported.

When Ai was given 15 days to pay the tax bill his mother, Gao Ying, said she would sell her house to help. In an open letter she said:

“The deadline for payment is so tight that not even robbing banks could help. The only thing I can do is use my home. I am willing to first mortgage it and then auction it."

But Ai said there was insufficient time to do this, so the donations would be used as collateral to lodge an appeal.