Hong Kong becomes a grayer place

The asphyxiation of Apple Daily nears its end, now the Hong Kong authorities have frozen its assets and left it with no funds to pay staff or suppliers. An editorial. Ramy Inocencio livestreams the last night of the live news broadcast. A couple of articles that didn’t make it, from Kevin Carrico and Laura Harth. Not everyone liked the paper, but a tabloid that is often tawdry and in bad taste is a mark of a free, pluralist society. (As is often the case, many of those who found it offensive needed to have their sensitivities tweaked occasionally.)

What has happened here is that the CCP is deliberately destroying a successful business – one of Hong Kong’s more vibrant brands, hundreds of jobs, hundreds of millions in shareholder value – purely out of vindictiveness. Jailing boss Jimmy Lai is not enough: all must feel pain for being outspoken and critical. 

Not a peep, predictably, from the rest of Hong Kong’s corporate sector. Even other local media outlets are downplaying the press-freedom side of the story (their owners being pro-Beijing shoe-shiners – and glad at the removal of some competition).

What will happen to the paper’s online archives? Especially the brilliant animated news stories with the panda bear bursting into tears all the time?

And of course, who or what next? So far, the NatSec regime has tried to locally block (or have taken down) only a handful of websites. But a broader, semi-Great Fire Wall system of Internet censorship – notably police raids and other harassment of independent online media and social-media account owners – must be on the way.

In the background, the recent steady neutering of RTHK, and the end of Tiananmen vigils and July 1 marches. Hanging a ‘Liberate Hong Kong’ flag from your apartment’s washing rack now results in police breaking into your home. And then there are water bottles with slightly edgy slogans expressing love for Hong Kong. Still some around at a nearby 7-Eleven. Must dash – someone banging on the door…

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8 Responses to Hong Kong becomes a grayer place

  1. Chinese Netizen says:

    Well, HKFP had a nice run.

    Start getting “your papers” in order for the 6am door knock.

    Again…how’s that PR agency coming along with the Brand Hong Kong promo campaign?

  2. Kwun Tong Bypass says:

    History repeats itself.

    https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/03064227508532442

    Analogue story – note who the bad guys were, endangering the national security of the ‘little pink dot’.

  3. YTSL says:

    “And of course, who or what next?”

    Seen this image? https://twitter.com/hurtingbombz/status/1406913327171731465/photo/1

    Though I’m sure the authorities have way more targets than just this one.

  4. Chris Maden says:

    @YTSL: Good cartoon. Stand news next. HKFP after that (and likely me with it). I can’t imagine Hemlock will continue unscathed – you’ve more balls than any of us.

  5. Chinese Netizen says:

    I’m sure pretty soon you’ll be hard pressed to find apples at your local grocers or wet markets and even if you do, don’t let a copper see you holding it!

  6. Joe Blow says:

    Once all decent media have been squashed and the Great China Internet Wall has descended on our city. how are we going to communicate?

  7. Reaktor Nomor Empat says:

    Nowadays, few care about local politics. It’s dead, finished, kapput. Instead, folk want to chew over personal wealth issues, which is why the recent discussions about cryptocurrency wealth storage/transfer have garnered so much attention. Fact is, few give a flying fig about the plight of Apple Pie, Claudia Mo, Joshua Wong etc. It is/they are so 2019. The majority have rationalized it and moved on – and before anyone starts having a bitch, remember this is Hong Kong.

  8. Mark Bradley says:

    “Fact is, few give a flying fig about the plight of Apple Pie, Claudia Mo, Joshua Wong etc. It is/they are so 2019. The majority have rationalized it and moved on – and before anyone starts having a bitch, remember this is Hong Kong.”

    I still give a flying fuck about the plight of Apple Daily, Claudia, Joshua, etc because it’s infuriating. I agree that, cryptography for private communication and wealth movement outside of the traditional banking system and censorship busting tools are rational discussions during the new regime because it’s something we as individuals still have control over unlike local politics and the plight of the brave souls rotting in prison over words.

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