MANILA, PHILIPPINES — What has the response to Ai Weiwei’s tax case been like in China? We’ve seen the thrilling surge of netizens lending over a million dollars to the artist, and he recently made a deposit while he contests the bill. The artist has returned to Twitter, posting actively once more (select translations available here). Many reports have emphasized that Ai’s name is blocked on searches on Sina Weibo, but, as with the Wenzhou train collision last year, netizens are using images to circumvent censorship and show their support.
For a while, Ai’s Sina Weibo account, Tiger Cub Ai (艾虎子), became a rallying point, as he actively posted in the mornings and evenings and chatted with his followers. As with hashtags on Twitter, netizens used the search term of “Tiger Cub Ai” to post messages of support. The account was then deleted, and searches for the account were also banned. Here’s a brief selection of Sina Weibo posts that I was able to cull together.
And what about Ai’s presence on Sina Weibo? He’s opened another one and has already attracted a couple thousand followers. Search around and you’ll find it, or ask me directly for the link.
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