CHINA / SOCIETY
HK police freeze Jimmy Lai’s Next Digital shares, bank assets estimated at HK$300m
Published: May 14, 2021 08:16 PM
Hong Kong police officers escort media tycoon Jimmy Lai Chee-ying after his arrest on Monday. Photo: Xinhua

Hong Kong police officers escort media tycoon Jimmy Lai Chee-ying after his arrest on Monday. Photo: Xinhua



The Hong Kong Security Bureau has frozen all of media tycoon Jimmy Lai Chee-ying's shares in his Next Digital media company and his other bank assets under the national security law for Hong Kong, which was more than HK$300 million ($38.6 million) as estimated by some media.

According to Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, Lai held 71.26 percent of Next Digital's shares as of Friday. 

According to the website of the Hong Kong government, Hong Kong police froze all the shares of Next Digital held by Lai, and the property in the local bank accounts of three companies owned by him.

The Secretary for Security on Friday, by notice in writing directed that relevant persons and organizations must not, directly or indirectly, deal with certain properties reasonably suspected to be related to offenses endangering national security, pursuant to Schedule 3 of the Implementation Rules for article 43 of the national security law for Hong Kong, Hong Kong government said.

According to Article 43 of the national security law for Hong Kong, when handling cases concerning offenses endangering national security, the department for safeguarding national security of the Police Force may take measures in investigating serious crimes, and some of the measures they may take include a search of premises, vehicles, vessels, applying for a restraint order, charging order and confiscation order, and forfeiture of property used or intended to be used for the commission of the offense.

In April, Lai was sentenced to 12 months and eight months in prison, respectively, for attending and organizing two illegal assemblies in August 2019. 

On December 11, 2020, the National Security Department of the Hong Kong Police Force filed one charge of "Collusion with a Foreign Country or with External Elements to Endanger National Security" against Lai. On April 16, two additional charges, namely "Conspiracy to Commit Collusion with a Foreign Country or with External Elements to Endanger National Security" and "Conspiracy to Do an Act or a Series of Acts Tending and Intended to Pervert the Course of Public Justice," were filed against him, according to the Hong Kong government. 

Taiwan's Apple Daily said on Friday that it will stop publishing its print version on May 18. 

Apply Daily has been declining in credibility in Hong Kong as many people and media have started to call for Apple Daily to be also banned in Hong Kong, and it has plunged into financial crisis since Lai was imprisoned. 

Global Times 


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