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Chinese artist Ai Weiwei's company faces shutdown

Published on Oct 2, 2012 3:08 PM
 
Dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei waits outside the entrance of the Chaoyang District Court before attempting to attend his appeal verdict hearing in Beijing on Sept 27, 2012. A Chinese court upheld a $2.4 million tax evasion fine against Ai on Thursday, in a case that has badly tarnished the country's already poor human rights reputation. Chinese authorities will shut down the company founded by Ai Weiwei, his lawyer said on Tuesday, in the latest step in what the dissident artist has called a campaign of persecution to silence his activism. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (AFP) - Chinese authorities will shut down the company founded by Ai Weiwei, his lawyer said on Tuesday, in the latest step in what the dissident artist has called a campaign of persecution to silence his activism.

Ai's lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan said the business license of the company, Fake Cultural Development, would be revoked for failing to follow annual registration requirements.

The burly, wispy-bearded Ai, 55, has been under pressure over government allegations of tax evasion by the company, resulting in a US$2.4 million (S$2.9 million) fine by the Beijing tax bureau last year.

The internationally renowned avant-garde artist, who denies the allegations, has emerged as a fierce government critic, often through his prolific use of the Internet and social media.

 
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