Apple Daily could close this weekend, staff told - RTHK
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Apple Daily could close this weekend, staff told

2021-06-21 HKT 15:57
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  • The company's board is expected to meet again on Friday to make a final decision on ceasing operations. File photo: AFP
    The company's board is expected to meet again on Friday to make a final decision on ceasing operations. File photo: AFP
Damon Pang reports
Apple Daily staff have been told the newspaper could cease operations this coming Saturday unless the Hong Kong authorities release assets frozen as part of a national security investigation.

An internal memo to employees said if the funds are not forthcoming, no articles will be uploaded to the media outlet's digital platforms after 11.59pm on Friday, while the last newspaper will come out on Saturday morning.

Staff were told they could resign immediately if they so wished and they would not have to work a notice period.

The memo was sent out following a meeting of Next Digital's board. It said the company had asked the Security Bureau to release the funds and had set Friday as a deadline for the matter to be resolved.

The board was expected to meet again on Friday to make a final decision on whether to cease operations.

Last week, Apple Daily's editor-in-chief, Ryan Law, and Cheung Kim-hung, chief executive of Next Digital, were charged with conspiring to collude with foreign forces to endanger national security.

Police linked the prosecutions to dozens of articles published by the newspaper which they alleged had called for sanctions against Hong Kong and mainland officials.

Authorities also froze about HK$18 million of the media company's assets.

Three other Next Digital executives were arrested as part of the probe, but were released on bail without charge.

Law and Cheung were remanded in custody after appearing in court last Saturday. Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai is also behind bars as he awaits his own national security trial.