Jimmy Lai's media group to be delisted from HKEX, 'law-abiding firms always welcomed'
Published: Jan 06, 2023 12:20 AM
Next Digital Ltd and Apple Daily logos display at the headquarters in Hong Kong, File Photo: VCG

Next Digital Ltd and Apple Daily logos display at the headquarters in Hong Kong, File Photo: VCG

The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (HKEX) has decided to remove Next Digital Ltd group, which was founded by jailed Hong Kong secessionist Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, from the market, and the company will be delisted on January 12. 

Liquidated Next Digital announced that the company received a letter from the HKEX dated December 23, 2022 informing the company that the Listing Committee decided to cancel the company's listing under the Listing Rules.

Trading in the company's shares has been suspended since June 17, 2021.

Chu Kar-kin, a veteran current affairs commentator based in Hong Kong, told the Global Times that since trading remained suspended, shareholders may find their holdings will become almost valueless following the delisting procedures.

Chu said this outcome had been expected. The local regulatory authorities examine the core business, liquidity, assets, liabilities, risks and prospectus of such listed companies from time to time. 

Trading was suspended to safeguard the best interests of shareholders and the public. The Listing Committee of the HKEX, in accordance with the Listing Rules, considered its listing status and launched a Decision of the Listing Committee on Cancellation of Listing to Next Digital Ltd, Chu said.

"Hong Kong, as a global financial center, needs the legal support of an open and fair environment, and a listed company violating the law will be surely expelled from the market," Liang Haiming, dean of the Belt and Road Institute at Hainan University, told the Global Times on Thursday. 

Lai was previously charged with money laundering among other violations on suspicion of sponsoring anti-China rioters through a "charity fund" under Next Digital, media reported. 

Liang said such funds will be cut off from the capital chain and can no longer be used for illegal activity. 

"Hong Kong always welcomes true investors and law-abiding companies," Liang said. But it has zero tolerance for disruptors and illegal acts using the financial market to obtain capital. With the national security law for Hong Kong, "the financial market is more secure and investors more confident."