| 21 February 2024, Wednesday |

HK pro-democracy paper Apple Daily will decide closure by Friday

 Apple Daily, a Hong Kong pro-democracy paper, has said its board will decide whether or not to close the publication at a meeting on Friday.

This comes days after officials froze $2.3 million of its assets over allegations that its reports breached a national security law.

Police also detained its editor in chief and five other executives. Its founder Jimmy Lai is already in jail.

Apple Daily is frequently critical of mainland Chinese leadership.

“The Board will decide on Friday whether [it] will continue to operate… if it decides not to… the newspaper will cease operation after publishing the June 26 edition,” said Reuters quoting an internal memo.

Earlier on Monday, Lai’s adviser Simon Marks had told the BBC’s Peter Hoskins that the paper could close “within days”.

“If you don’t have money you can’t order services. Most importantly, you can’t promise to pay people when you don’t have access to the cash to cover those expenses. That’s illegal in Hong Kong,” said Simon.

“The paper is still on the news stands today but it is only a matter of days before it won’t be there unless its bank accounts are unfrozen.”

Apple Daily had on Sunday said it only had enough cash to continue normal operations for “several weeks”.