lørdag 26. juni 2021

Apple Daily's demise deals another blow to Hong Kong's battered reputation

Hong Kong has long been Asia's leading financial hub, straddling the West and China. But as Beijing tightens its grip on a city still largely cut off by coronavirus restrictions, it's increasingly tricky for tech, media and banks to do business — and some fear the end of an era.

Almost exactly one year after the introduction of a controversial Chinese national security law, tabloid Apple Daily was forced to close down this week after its journalists were arrested and millions of dollars in assets were frozen. A dramatic police raid on its newsroom, a government notice served on its headquarters and the seizing of bank accounts stoked fears about press freedom and property rights in a city that was supposed to enjoy significant autonomy from Beijing until 2047. Hong Kong authorities sought to distance the newspaper's closure from what it called "normal journalistic work," and asserted that the rebellious, pro-democracy publication threatened national security.