Last pro-democracy print newspaper in Hong Kong to cease operations

Effective today, Hong Kong’s last pro-democracy print newspaper will shut down. The final edition of Apple Daily, released on Thursday,

Hong Kongs last prodemocracy print newspaper Apple Daily to close

Photo: Kin Cheung/AP

Effective today, Hong Kong’s last pro-democracy print newspaper will shut down.

The final edition of Apple Daily, released on Thursday, sold over one million copies within hours. Apple Daily representatives say the newspaper was forced to cease operations after police froze $2.3 million of its assets as part of a criminal investigation. Beijing has accused the newspaper of foreign collusion to endanger national security.

The fall of Apple Daily is Beijing’s latest move to crack down on civil liberties in Hong Kong in the wake of widespread protests in 2019. Beijing officials have used a new national security law, passed in response to the unrest, to detain dissidents, freeze assets and censor media.

Continuing to take advantage of the sweeping authority granted to them by the new law, expect Hong Kong authorities to crack down on dissident media at the direction of Beijing. The next targets will likely be popular Internet bloggers within the city, who continue to quietly mobilize opposition using a variety of technologies to skirt government censors. The South China Morning Post may also be in danger. The methodical disappearance of independent media in Hong Kong is the latest sign that the city’s vaunted freedoms are all-together eroding.

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