Hong Kong media company that resisted China’s control is shutting down

Source: The Hill | September 5, 2021 | Joseph Choi

A Hong Kong media company that was a beacon of free speech in the country, regularly publishing blunt criticism of the Chinese government, announced on Sunday that it would be shutting down.

As Reuters reported, the company’s board of directors has resigned in order to facilitate the company’s liquidation. Next Digital is owned by imprisoned tycoon Jimmy Lai.

Next Digital was the owner of the pro-democracy Apple Daily news site before it closed down in June, following the arrest of five of its editors and executives under a new law passed last year.

As part of a national security investigation, Next Digital’s office was raided, its assets were frozen and its shares have been suspended from trading since June 17, Reuters reported.

Next Digital said that it hoped that the resignation of its board members would allow the Hong Kong government to approve payments to creditors and former staff. 

“We observe that the events affecting the company and its people following the invocation of the National Security Law occurred despite there having been no trials and no convictions,” Next Digital said. “Under this new law, a company can be forced into liquidation without the involvement of the courts.”

“As Apple Daily often observed, Hong Kong people have a collective memory of what life was like elsewhere when freedom of speech was denied: No other rights are safe,” it added.


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