The pro-democracy stance of Hong Kong’s Apple Daily will publish its last edition of the newspaper this Thursday, June 24, according to multiple media reports.
The board of directors of Apple Daily’s parent company, Next Media, announced Wednesday that the Apple Daily will publish its final issue no later than this Saturday.
In a statement, the board of directors of Next Media Limited said, “We regret to announce that due to the current situation in Hong Kong, the print edition of Apple Daily will end no later than Saturday, June 26, 2021 for the last issue, and the electronic edition will be discontinued no later than 11:59 p.m. Saturday at ……. “
The statement said Next Media appreciates “the loyal support of our readers” and “thanks our journalists, staff and advertisers for their trust over the past 26 years.
Meanwhile, Next Magazine, also owned by Next Media, also announced its imminent closure. One Weekly President Huang Lixiang said in a farewell letter on Facebook on Wednesday that “the editorial team believes it has reached the end of the road in the big time.
She said, “Some colleagues are reluctant to leave and still have a glimmer of hope, I only have a fierce splitting of the head: ‘Don’t have any illusions!”
Following the arrest of five Apple Daily associates last week, Apple Daily reported Wednesday that editorial lead writer Li Ping (pen name) was arrested that morning by officers of the National Security Division of the Police Department. Li Ping, a Chinese national whose real name is Yang Qingqi, reportedly published an editorial for Apple Daily’s “Appleseed” the day before his arrest and is being held for investigation. He was arrested on suspicion of violating the National Security Law for “conspiracy to collaborate with foreign or overseas forces to endanger national security.
Last Thursday (June 17), 500 police officers searched the Apple Daily building and arrested two top executives and three journalists from Next Media for allegedly violating the National Security Law by conspiring with foreign countries or forces outside the country to endanger national security.
The Hong Kong Security Bureau also froze the assets of three companies related to Apple Daily and notified banks to stop providing services to Apple Daily, leaving it in financial difficulties.
Police said the operation is continuing and more arrests cannot be ruled out.