Ai Weiwei's Design Firm Loses License

Artist says needed documents were confiscated
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2012 11:10 AM CDT
Ai Weiwei's Design Firm Loses License
Chinese activist artist Ai Weiwei prepares to leave the Beijing No. 2 People's Intermediate Court after attending his appeal case in Beijing Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012.   (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

(Newser) – Days after losing his last appeal in a tax case, embattled Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei is facing another legal battle. China has canceled his design firm's business license because he hasn't re-registered the company, the BBC reports. But the artist says he couldn't re-register after officials confiscated necessary paperwork. The real issue, he says, is his criticism of the government. He plans to appeal the decision.

A lawyer for Ai says he doesn't know when the firm, Fake Cultural Development, will be shut down; it's also unknown what this means for the giant fine levied on the firm in the tax case, which the artist says he won't pay anyway. His own finances won't be hurt by Fake Cultural Development's potential end, he says; it's only tied to his architecture work, and he hasn't done any projects for it since 2008. (Read more Ai Weiwei stories.)

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