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HK democracy supporters snap up Apple Daily copies amid anger at police crackdown

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HONG KONG — Hong Kong democracy supporters flocked to purchase copies of pro-democracy tabloid Apple Every day on Friday, citing anger over a police raid of its newsroom as a part of an inquiry into whether or not some articles threatened China’s nationwide safety.

The favored 26-year-old paper, which mixes liberal discourse with superstar gossip and investigations of these in energy, elevated its Friday press run to 500,000 copies, up from 80,000 the day gone by.

Apple’s presses whirred out the primary copies of the print run round midnight, and the papers have been whisked away by vans and vehicles throughout Hong Kong.

Within the Mong Kok district, queues shaped at some kiosks, with some clients carting off tons of of first editions on trolleys and suitcases.

“You by no means know when this newspaper will die,” stated one reader surnamed Tsang who solely gave his final identify due to the sensitivity of the matter. “As Hong Kongers, we have to protect the historical past. Hold in there so long as we will. Though the street is tough, we nonetheless have to stroll it, as there’s no different street.”

By the morning, some newsstands in central Hong Kong had already bought out. One displayed an image of Apple’s emblem with the phrases “Assist press freedom” beneath it.


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Tam, a 40-year-old banker, stated he’d purchased his first newspaper in 20 years after listening to concerning the raid.

“I don’t imply to do something with the newspaper in my hand. It’s only for my conscience,” he stated.

Police arrested 5 executives, together with Apple’s chief editor Ryan Regulation, over allegations of “collusion with a international nation or with exterior parts” to hazard nationwide safety. Additionally they froze HK$18 million ($2.32 million) of property owned by three firms linked to the paper

It was the second time police had raided the newsroom after the arrest final yr of media tycoon Jimmy Lai, a pro-democracy activist and staunch Beijing critic, who owns Subsequent Digital , which publishes Apple Every day.

The newspaper printed an identical quantity after Lai’s arrest in August 2020.

The entrance web page of Apple Every day reported the raid, which concerned 500 officers, saying police had seized 44 exhausting disk drives as proof.

On Thursday evening within the Apple Every day newsroom, Ng, a graphics journalist who solely gave his final identify, stated the raid was “actually a pathetic second for Hong Kong.”

“If we will’t survive, there’s no extra press freedom,” Ng stated as he labored.

It was the primary case by which authorities have cited media articles as doubtlessly violating the nationwide safety regulation, imposed by Beijing in 2020 after virtually a yr of mass pro-democracy protests.

The European Union and Britain stated the raid confirmed China was utilizing the regulation to crack down on dissent slightly than take care of public safety. The USA stated “selective” use of the regulation “arbitrarily” focused impartial media.


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The World Affiliation of Information Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Discussion board referred to as in a joint assertion for the instant launch of Apple Every day employees and the unfreezing of the corporate’s property.

“The nationwide safety regulation is being intentionally misused to suppress crucial opinion and goal those that dissent,” stated WAN-IFRA’s govt director for press freedom, Andrew Heslop.

“Authorities are spreading concern and censuring media exercising their proper to press freedom. China’s makes an attempt to impose authoritarian rule over Hong Kong’s media can not and won’t go unopposed,” Heslop added.

Hong Kong officers have repeatedly stated that media freedom and different rights would stay intact, however that nationwide safety was a crimson line.

China’s Overseas Commissioner’s Workplace stated in a press release the nationwide safety regulation protected press freedom, whereas warning “exterior forces” to “hold their arms off Hong Kong.”

In a press release on Thursday, the Subsequent Media employees union vowed to maintain reporting.

“As troublesome as the present circumstances could also be, we are going to keep it up with our jobs with the intention to publish our papers as regular,” it stated. (Reporting by Jessie Pang, Sara Cheng, Sharon Abratique, Joyce Zhou and Donny Kwok; Writing by Marius Zaharia. Modifying by Gerry Doyle)


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In-depth reporting on the innovation financial system from The Logic, dropped at you in partnership with the Monetary Publish.


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