Artist and activist Ai Weiwei has many friends. Thousands in fact.
After he announced the authorities slapped him with a tax bill over 15 million RMB earlier this week, some 2,700 people donated 871,000 RMB up until 7pm Friday, said Ai's assistant Liu Yanping.
"Every penny will be repaid [to you]. Please leave your contact phone number or email address [when you lend the money]," Ai wrote on his Google Plus account.
Supporters can send their donations either through the post office, to a bank account, through Alipay (a third person online payment platform) and Paypal.
Many of his supporters say making donations as a way to show their defiance to the authorities. "If you are not wealthy you can at least spare five or 10 yuan because each postal remittance receipt says 'No' to the authorities", said one person on Twitter.
A number posted copies of their remittance receipts online after making a donation.
Hopefully momentum will grow to the point where the authorities will be ashamed by its pathetic efforts to get back at Ai and finally leave him alone.
Perhaps it's wishful thinking, but we can only hope.