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Apple Daily may shut down “within days” after Hong Kong’s assets freeze

The company’s consultants stated that actions taken under the security law meant that it was unable to obtain approximately $50 million in funding to pay employees and suppliers.

The Hong Kong democratic newspaper “Apple Daily” will be forced to close “within a few days” because the authorities have used China’s national security law to freeze the company’s assets because it arrested the newspaper’s editor and four other directors. One A consultant was sentenced to jail, tycoon Li Zhiying told Reuters on Monday.

Maxime said by phone in the United States that the company can no longer use its funds and will hold a board meeting on Monday to discuss how to proceed.

“We think we can do it by the end of this month,” Simon told the news agency. “It’s just getting harder. It’s basically a matter of days.”

His comments indicate that the closure is imminent, even after the “Apple Daily” stated on Sunday that its assets were frozen, the newspaper still had enough cash for “a few weeks” of normal operations.

The news was released two days after the 47-year-old editor Ryan Law and the 59-year-old chief executive Cheung Kim-hung were denied bail after being accused of colluding with foreign forces under the Security Law.

“Apple Daily” editor-in-chief Ron returned to the detention center after being remanded on Saturday [Lam Yik/Reuters]

Last Thursday, three other senior managers were also arrested. 500 police raided the newspaper office This case aroused condemnation from Western countries, human rights organizations and the chief human rights spokesperson of the United Nations.

The three have been released on bail.

Simon told Reuters that it has become impossible to conduct banking business.

“The supplier tried to deposit money into our account but was refused. We can’t bank. Some suppliers tried to do this to help. We just wanted to find out, but it was rejected,” he said.

Simon said in an interview with the US news channel CNN that the company has about US$50 million in available funds, but is unable to obtain these funds.

Since the arrest of its owner Jimmy Lai under the National Security Act last August, the publisher has faced increasing pressure. This is the first time the company’s headquarters has been raided. According to the National Security Law, 73-year-old Lai is now jailed and facing trial. In May, the authorities also Freeze some assets Belongs to a long-time critic of Beijing.

Three companies related to the “Apple Daily” have also been sued for colluding with foreign countries, and the authorities have frozen their assets of 18 million Hong Kong dollars (2.3 million U.S. dollars).

China imposed a national security law on Hong Kong in June last year, stating that it is necessary to restore the “stability” of the region that was hit by large-scale protests in 2019, some of which turned into violent activities.

This Broadly worded law Criminalizing acts such as subversion, sedition, collusion with foreign forces, and secession of the country may be sentenced to life imprisonment, but critics say that since his arrest, many of the more than 100 democratic politicians and activists have been arrested. Ten pro-democratic politicians and activists used it to suppress legitimate political debates. Take effect.

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