Taiwan’s Apple Daily Says it Will Continue Operations

Jun 24, 2021 | China, GOV, Hong Kong, NEWS, Taiwan

by AFP

Apple Daily’s Hong Kong and Taiwan editions are both owned by Jimmy Lai, a wealthy media tycoon currently in jail in Hong Kong

The Taiwanese edition of Apple Daily assured readers that its operations will continue as the island’s government on Thursday denounced the closure of its sister paper in Hong Kong under a national security law.

Hong Kong’s most popular tabloid had long been a thorn in Beijing’s side, with unapologetic support for the city’s pro-democracy movement and caustic criticism of China’s authoritarian leaders.

It printed its last edition on Thursday after authorities used the security law to freeze its assets.

Both papers are owned by Jimmy Lai, a wealthy media tycoon currently in jail in Hong Kong for attending democracy protests.

“All subsidiaries under Next Digital are financially independent. The operation of Taiwan’s Apply Daily website is unaffected,” the media group said in a notice to readers.

Next Digital is the parent company of both titles.

The cash-strapped Taiwanese edition of Apple Daily ceased its print edition last month, 18 years after it was founded. But its website is still going.

The company had planned to sell its Taiwanese wing in April. But its board later took a U-turn, saying the sale was no longer in its best interests.

Taiwan’s top China policy-making body, the Mainland Affairs Council, warned on Thursday that the demise of the Hong Kong paper was “sounding the death knell” for the city’s press and speech freedoms.