Taiwan’s Apple Daily finds buyer after Hong Kong edition shuts down

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Taipei (AFP) – The Taiwanese edition of the Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily has found a buyer who would retain most of its staff, the firm announced on Wednesday, pledging to continue to “denounce any injustice”.

Popular outlet Apply Daily closed in Hong Kong last year after its newsroom was raided and its assets frozen under a sweeping national security law that Beijing imposed on the city China to suppress dissent.

Its Taiwanese edition continued to operate as a financially independent subsidiary, but ceased print publications last May, 18 years after it was founded by now-imprisoned Hong Kong media magnate Jimmy Lai.

Taiwan’s Apple Daily said in a statement on its website on Wednesday that it had “completed a transfer” and will announce the buyer later.

“Most of our colleagues will be transferred to the new employer and will be safely retained,” Ip Yut-kin, the Taiwanese subsidiary’s legal representative, said in the statement, adding that he would be its “honorary chairman.” .

“Looking back on the past year, our Hong Kong headquarters faced a storm unprecedented in global news history,” the statement said.

He added that after the assets of Hong Kong’s Apple Daily were frozen, the Taiwanese edition saw its funds cut.

“Apple Daily’s original intent cannot be forgotten. It will always speak out against any injustice to its readers,” he said.

Last year, the Hong Kong government took the rare step of calling for the parent company of newspaper Next Digital to be dissolved, saying it would be “expedient in the public interest”.

The High Court granted the government’s request in December after a brief hearing that was not contested by the company.

Authorities have moved to restrict press freedom in Hong Kong as Beijing reshapes the city in its own image, following huge and sometimes violent democracy protests in 2019.

National security charges have been brought against Lai and six former senior Apple Daily executives.

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