December 4, 2022

Hong Kong’s next digital directors are calling for the resignation of Apple Daily after the closure, citing a “climate of fear”.

The next digital was installed Now in jail President Jimmy Loy, said on the stock exchange Filed Its remaining four directors will step down on Sunday to “protect shareholders, lenders, employees and ex-employees.” Directors Ip Yut Kin, Louis Gordon Crowitz, Mark Lambert Clifford and Lam Chung Yan.

It also said it wanted to dismantle the company’s assets, but Apple Daily believed it could live in Taiwan, where it still has an online version, under new ownership.

Shares of Next Digital have already been suspended from trading in June, the company said. That’s when Apple Daily executives and editors Were arrested In Hong Kong for violating the National Security Act. The law prohibits any activity that Beijing considers treason, secession and reversal, and allows Chinese state security to operate in the region.
A dramatic Police raid In the Apple Daily Newsroom, a government announcement was made at its headquarters and the seizure of Paper’s bank accounts raised concerns about press freedom and property rights.

“None of the articles published by the Apple Daily state that the Hong Kong government has violated the National Security Act,” Next Digital said in a statement on Sunday.

“This uncertainty created a climate of fear, resulting in a number of resignations among the remaining employees in Hong Kong, including those responsible for the regulatory compliance duties of public enterprises.”

The company is now demanding that the trading of its shares be “suspended until further notice” while calling for the liquidation of its assets to pay shareholders, lenders and employees.

Earlier, in June, Apple Daily reported that the company’s board had appealed to Hong Kong authorities to freeze assets to pay employees.

The demise of the Apple Daily is another blow to Hong Kong's reputation

The company hopes that some of its legacy can still be lived.

It called on liquefaction companies to consider contracts that would “create funds that benefit lenders”, having previously stated that “several parties have expressed interest in acquiring Apple Daily’s operations in Taiwan.”

“Assets, like the unique intellectual property created since the founding of Apple Daily, also have value,” Next Digital said.

The Hong Kong Bureau of Business and Economic Development did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

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But in June, city chairman Gary Lam said, Addressed concerns About the Apple Daily Closure.

“Do not try to accuse Hong Kong authorities of using the National Security Act as a tool to suppress the media or suppress freedom of expression,” he said at the time.

Apple Daily Created In 1995, Loyal, a former textile tycoon, rose to prominence in criticizing the ruling Communist Party of China. It later became the last major voice in the media at Hong Kong’s pro-democracy camp, dividing public opinion in the city.

“As the Apple Daily has often noted, the people of Hong Kong have a collective memory of how life was elsewhere when freedom of speech was denied: no other rights are safe,” the next digital directors wrote on Sunday.

– Carly Walsh contributed to this report.