Govt moves to have Next Digital wound up

Financial Secretary Paul Chan exercised his powers on Wednesday to seek the winding up of Next Digital, saying the move was in the public interest.

The government said Chan presented a petition to the court, in accordance with the Companies Ordinance.

In a statement, the administration noted that the secretary had appointed an inspector, Clement Chan, in July to probe the firm.

“After considering the interim report [from the inspector], the financial secretary took the view that it would be expedient in the public interest that [Next Digital] be wound up,” the statement read.

The government said the court petition also involved information and evidence obtained by the Securities and Futures Commission through a separate investigation.

When the remaining directors of the company’s board resigned in early September, they also said it was in the best interests of shareholders, creditors and former staff for the listed firm to be liquidated.

Seven senior members of Next Digital’s now-defunct Apple Daily newspaper, including founder Jimmy Lai, have been charged with violating the national security law.