Next Magazine bids farewell, says it has 'no regrets' - RTHK
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Next Magazine bids farewell, says it has 'no regrets'

2021-06-23 HKT 11:11
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  • The magazine says it has come to an end, in a letter thanking its readers.
    The magazine says it has come to an end, in a letter thanking its readers.
An online magazine under the troubled Next Digital company announced on Wednesday that it will fold after authorities froze the firm's assets, leaving it unable to sustain daily operations or pay staff salaries.

The latest development comes after the magazine's sister publication, the Apple Daily newspaper, also halted some of its services on Tuesday, just a day after warning that the media outlet's entire operations could come to an end by the weekend.

Next Magazine was one of the most popular magazines in Hong Kong when it was first founded by the now-jailed media tycoon Jimmy Lai in 1990.

The magazine's last print edition was published in 2018 before moving solely online.

In a letter posted on its website, the magazine’s head, Wong Lai-sheung, thanked readers for their support.

She said the magazine was almost forced to shut a few years ago as it suffered great losses, but it had successfully gone digital and attracted more than 100,000 subscribers.

"I've run out of tears at this historic juncture. What I need to do in this turbulent environment is to suppress my emotions and pave the way for our retreat," Wong said.

"Some colleagues still hold a glimmer a hope but I just have to very frank with them by saying: 'stop your imagination'. We've worked hard for Next Magazine and we once enjoyed press freedom. There should be no regrets."

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.