The South China Morning Post revealed that the Hong Kong Apple Daily ceased publication on the 24th, after rumors that the Hong Kong Security Bureau offered conditions, as long as all staff personal information and sensitive information, the Hong Kong Apple Daily funds can be unfrozen, and then have the opportunity to resume publication. The newspaper’s management is discussing the matter with its legal team. The Central News Agency reported today that the news immediately gave rise to the “quid pro quo” association of the Hong Kong government “using the resumption of publication as bait to obtain the personal information of the newspaper’s employees and information about their external dealings,” which has aroused debate among all sectors in Hong Kong. Some Apple Daily employees are adamantly opposed to the move, fearing that the leaked personal information could lead to retaliation from the Chinese Communist Party.
According to a Central News Agency report today, the Hong Kong government is rumored to have set a condition: Apple handed over the personal information of its employees to unfreeze the funds to resume publication.
On the Internet, the Hong Kong Security Bureau’s move was met with unanimous criticism from both the pro and con camps. Those who support Apple Daily have accused the Hong Kong government of this move, and even described it as “despicable”; but pro-communists also made a big speech, saying that the Hong Kong government is “driving backwards” and “compromising with the foreign forces “.
According to the South China Morning Post, Next Media, the parent company of Hong Kong’s Apple Daily, is weighing a request from the Hong Kong government to hand over its staff list and other sensitive information in order to get back its frozen assets. According to the newspaper, an internal email sent by Hong Kong Apple Daily’s human resources department mentioned, “We are applying for the unfreezing of funds for salary payments, but the Security Bureau has asked us to provide more sensitive information. As this involves personal privacy, management is currently reviewing the matter with the legal team.”
According to sources, the management of Hong Kong Apple Daily has not yet informed its employees of the Security Bureau’s request, but stressed that employee privacy is “a top priority. If management wants to hand over employees’ personal data to a third party, it must obtain the employees’ consent.
The Central News Agency said sources said some Apple Daily employees were adamantly opposed to the move, fearing that disclosure of personal data could lead to retaliation from the Chinese Communist Party. A former staff member familiar with the negotiations said bluntly, “We don’t want to take back our salaries from the company because once all the employees’ names are handed over to the government, colleagues will live in new fear.”