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Chinese government moves to close dissident artist Ai Weiwei's design company


Chinese authorities are revoking the business licence of a design company associated with famed dissident artist Ai Weiwei.

A posting on the blog of legal consultant Liu Xiaoyuan said the district commercial affairs department had informed Ai that it was pulling the licence of Fake Cultural Development Ltd for failing to re-register.

A copy of the department's letter was posted to Mr Liu's blog.

That followed a court's ruling last week denying Ai's appeal against a $2.4 million (US) fine against the company for alleged tax evasion.

Ai claims the charges were fabricated and will not pay the 1.1 million US dollar balance on the fine, although authorities have confiscated the company's legal documents.

Ai was detained without explanation for three months last year, apparently as punishment for his political activism.