"Some media organizations continue to use their so-called fourth estate status to engage in collusion with foreign forces and incitement," the China-backed Ta Kung Pao said in an opinion piece. "Of these, the Apple Daily is the worst and most egregious offender," it said.
The article was published a day after hints from Hong Kong officials that the national security law, which bans public criticism of the city's government and the CCP, would soon be having more of an impact on the media. "There remain some national security loopholes in the media sector," the Ta Kung Pao article said, accusing the paper of "promoting independence for Hong Kong in the guise of news reporting." It said the paper had become a platform for "violent protesters" during the 2019 anti-extradition and pro-democracy movement, and accused it of "fueling the riots."