Shanghai dissident blogger Feng Zhenghu - the man who made international headlines during a three-month exile camped out in a Japanese airport - has launched an open campaign for donations, calling on his fans to 'save a cup of coffee, give me huge support'.
Writing in an open letter sent out to his mailing list yesterday and also publicised on his Twitter page, Feng said he was making an 'honest and sincere call for help'.
'I have been alive for several decades, and have met tens of thousands of people,' he wrote. 'In times of difficulties, I prefer to make bank accounts public and ask for help from friends first. If they save a cup of coffee, that is a huge support to me.
'I will sincerely accept the loving care of others, but will not repay it directly. Instead I will pass on this care to others who are in need of my help.'
The letter included details of Feng's PayPal account and two bank accounts - a Japanese account with the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and one with the Bank of China.
The former university lecturer told the South China Morning Post that his activism and continued police surveillance meant that he had been unable to work since his return to the mainland in February.
'My own needs are very minimal, so I don't have a target for how much I'd like to raise,' he said. 'But there are various things which cost money, such as legal representation for court cases, and that is what I need help from the public for.
'Any money I raise will be used to support people's fight for their legal rights.'
In his plea for donations, Feng wrote that he had suffered 'all kinds of difficulties' since coming back to Shanghai.
'This was my choice, because I still love this bit of earth and these compatriots, and hope to make China change for the better,' he wrote. 'We are pioneers, front-running heroes, but we are also ordinary people, not saints, and will also run out of heroic breath.'
Feng travelled to Japan in April 2009 following a 41-day detention in Beijing related to a complaint about the Shanghai Press and Publication Bureau.
When he tried to take a plane from Tokyo back to Shanghai on June 7 last year, he was refused entry and sent back to Japan. Since then, he has been refused entry into the mainland seven more times.
When his travel visa for Japan expired in November, Feng began camping out on benches in the arrivals area of Narita International Airport - where he remained for 92 days.