Media tycoon's arrest sends warning to Hong Kong's free press

Copies of the Apple Daily newspaper, published by Next Media Ltd., move along a conveyor at the company's printing facility in Hong Kong on May 6, 2020. Foto: Bloomberg/Roy Liu

Right before China retook control of Hong Kong in 1997, tycoon Jimmy Lai started Apple Daily in part to promote democracy in the city. For 25 years the newspaper survived advertising boycotts and political pressure but never backed off its tough coverage of the Chinese government and pro-Beijing lawmakers.

It may not last through the summer. Hong Kong police arrested Lai and several of his top executives on Monday and sent hundreds of officers to search the Apple Daily offices, a demonstration of the broad potential for the new national security law to silence criticism and dissent beyond pro-democracy protests and activism...

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