Jun.23 — Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Apple Daily newspaper has shut down after authorities arrested its top editors and froze company assets under the national security law. Stephen Engle reports on “Bloomberg Daybreak: Australia.” YouTube Tips ⓘ
The Apple Daily newspaper, owned by now-jailed media tycoon Jimmy Lai, said Wednesday, June 23, 2021 that the newspaper would stop operating at midnight, and publish the last print edition Thursday due to concerns over manpower and the safety of employees.
The Apple Daily newspaper was founded in 1995 by Jimmy Lai, who also founded parent company Next Media in 1999 and Next Magazine in 1990. Along with entertainment magazine Next Magazine, Apple Daily was part of Next Digital. The paper published print and digital editions in Chinese, as well as a digital-only English edition. A sister publication of the same name is published in Taiwan under a joint venture between Next Media and other Taiwanese companies.
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The government of Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of Hong Kong, forced the closure of the journal in Hong Kong by conducting a high-profile raid and the arrest of company executives on June 17, 2021; the freezing of the local bank accounts of the journal as well as the personal accounts of proprietor Jimmy Lai left the Apple Daily unable to continue operational existence. A week after the raid, the newspaper expected to print the final edition on June 24, 2021.
Apple Daily favored the Hong Kong pan-democracy camp, and criticized the Hong Kong government and Chinese government.
An earlier raid and arrests occurred on August 10, 2020 at the offices of Next Digital, the parent company of Apple Daily. The raid was part of a law enforcement operation conducted by the Hong Kong Police Force on the suspicion that the company had violated the Hong Kong national security law.
A total of 10 people were arrested during the operation, including the Jimmy Lai, his two sons, four senior management staff of Next Media. The police searched Next Media’s headquarters building in Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate, causing widespread controversy in the international community.
On the same day, Hong Kong police also arrested three activists: Agnes Chow, Lee Chung-chak and Lee Yu-hin, and sent three officers with a court order to the Hong Kong office of The Nikkei who ran an advert paid for by pro-democracy activists in 2019.
Carrie Lam received the appointment of Chief Executive of Hong Kong from Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on April 11, 2017.
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