Lego updates bulk buy policy following Ai Weiwei political 'censorship' row

The Lego Group has made a u-turn on its bulk purchase guidelines, and will no longer question customers around why they are buying large amounts of its bricks.

The move follows a Twitter storm in October involving Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, which seen fans come to the rescue after the toy company refused to supply its product for one of his installations.

Weiwei's exhibition centred around political dissidents and free speech in Austrailia, but the Danish firm said that it could not approve his order for use due to the political nature of the project.

Following the rejection, the artist voiced his concern on Instagram alongside a picture of Lego bricks in a toilet bowl saying: “As a powerful corporation, Lego is an influential cultural and political actor in the globalised economy with questionable values. Lego’s refusal to sell its product to the artist is an act of censorship and discrimination.”

"Everything is awesome "

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on

A vocal critic of the Chinese Communist Party, Weiwei was previously imprisoned for three months in China on tax evasion charges; he linked Lego's stance to the fact it had just inked a deal to open a Legoland theme park in Shanghai.

Brick donations from fans helped the artist complete his installation on time after the story gathered momentum across social networks.

In a statement released today Lego said the old policy "could result in misunderstandings or be perceived as inconsistent" and as such it has been adjusted.

The company said: "As of 1 January, the Lego Group no longer asks for the thematic purpose when selling large quantities of Lego bricks for projects. Instead, the customers will be asked to make it clear - if they intend to display their Lego creations in public - that the Lego Group does not support or endorse the specific projects."

Weiwei used Instagram to express his delight at the news, posing with Lego bricks attached to his beard.

A photo posted by Ai Weiwei (@aiww) on