Apple Daily, Hong Kong's Pro-Democracy Paper, Dies

Its employees arrested and assets frozen, the 26-year-old news outlet ends its run
By Liz MacGahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2021 1:28 PM CDT
Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Paper to Print Last Edition
People buy the Apple Daily news paper at a stand in downtown Hong Kong June 18. Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Apple Daily newspaper will close by this weekend, its parent company said Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Vincent Yu, File)

Apple Daily, Hong Kong’s main pro-democracy paper, is shutting down. Its founder, Jimmy Lai, is in jail, and several other top-level editors were arrested last week. But the killing blow was when the government froze its assets—about $2.3 million, the AP reports. The arrests and freezing of assets were done under a new national security law imposed by Beijing. The employees and paper are accused of encouraging foreign nations to impose sanctions on Hong Kong and China. Supporters of the paper gathered outside its offices holding up their phone flashlights and chanting "add oil," a slogan from the 2019 pro-democracy protests, the BBC reports.

Apple Daily’s assets were enough to sustain the paper for about a year and a half, and its defiant employees had vowed to stay on until the end, NPR reports. The paper, known for investigations into Beijing’s influence in Hong Kong and intense editorials, had broad support in the city, with readers scooping up copies and businesses buying ads. It increased its print run and sold half a million copies after the arrests in its offices last week, per the Wall Street Journal. The paper will stop updating online on Wednesday, and Thursday’s paper will be its last print edition. "Apple Daily showed we have a vibrant society, with freedom of expression and freedom of the press," Emily Lau, a former pro-democracy lawmaker, told the New York Times. Now that outlet is gone. (More Hong Kong stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.