Apple Daily to print last edition on Thursday

Apple Daily says the last edition of the paper will roll off the presses on Thursday – three days earlier than expected.

The online edition will stop updating after Wednesday midnight.

In a report published online on Wednesday afternoon, the paper said management made the decision after taking into consideration the safety of its staff and manpower concerns.

“Apple Daily thanks its readers, subscribers, advertisers and Hongkongers for their love and support in the past 26 years. Farewell and take care,” the report said.

The latest developments comes just hours after the board of its publisher, Next Digital, said the last edition will be printed no later than Saturday while the digital version will no longer be accessible by 11.59pm on the same day after taking into account “the current circumstances prevailing in Hong Kong”.

“The Company thanks our readers for their loyal support and our journalists, staff and advertisers for their commitment over the past 26 years,” a statement issued by the company’s board of directors on Wednesday said.

Earlier in the day, another publication under Next Digital, Next Magazine, also announced its decision to fold.

The announcements come hot on the heels of another arrest of a member of the newspaper’s staff.

Police said they had arrested a 55-year-old man in connection with an on-going national security probe linked to the newspaper, and it’s understood that the man, surnamed Yeung, is an editorial writer at the daily who goes by the pseudonym ‘Li Ping’.

Last Thursday, more than 500 police officers raided the paper’s newsroom over what authorities said were articles and columns appealing for sanctions against China.

Apple Daily’s chief editor Ryan Law and Next Digital’s CEO Cheung Kim-hung, were charged for colluding with foreign forces.

Three of the paper’s top executives were also arrested, but were later released on bail without charge.

Secretary for Security John Lee also announced on the same day that the firm’s assets, totalling around HK$18 million, would be frozen, crippling the company’s ability to continue operating.

Last updated: 2021-06-23 HKT 16:08