A self-broadcasting website belonging to Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei has been shut down by Chinese authorities. 

The short-lived website, on which Ai streamed footage from four cameras located inside his Beijing home, was launched earlier this week.  

He reportedly created the website as a commentary on the constant police surveillance to which he is subjected. 

In my life, there is so much surveillance and monitoring - my phone, my computer... Our office has been searched, I have been searched, every day I am being followed, there are surveillance cameras in front of my house, Ai told Agence France Presse on Tuesday.

So I was wondering, why don't I put some [cameras] in there so people can see all my activities? I can do that and I hope that the other party [authorities] can also show me some transparency.

The launch of the website also coincided with the one-year anniversary of Ai's 81-day secret detainment in 2011, during a period when Chinese authorities, fearful of demonstrations similar to those seen in the Arab world, cracked down on dissidents.

Since his release last June, Ai has been on a year-long probation during which he is not allowed to leave Beijing. He currently faces charges of tax evasion related to his company, Fake Cultural Development Ltd.

Last week, authorities upheld a decision to compel Ai's company to pay a $2.4 million penalty for back taxes, the BBC reports.  He was denied a public hearing.

All these circumstances have led me to firmly believe that the handling of Ai Weiwei's company [case] is a form of persecution, and that the tax authorities are helping the public security [organizations] do their work under orders, the company's lawyer Pu Zhiqiang told Reuters.

Ai, son of a famous Communist Party poet, is known for his unbridled criticism of the government on human rights grounds.  His commentary on the deadly 2008 Sichuan earthquake first gained the attention of authorities.

About the scheduled lift of his prohibition in June, Ai said I'm supposed to be a free man, unless they accuse me again and put me in jail.  Otherwise, I should be free.  But I don't know, it's never really clear, AFP quotes.