June 24 declared ‘Apple Day’

In the nearest thing Hong Kong will get to a democratic vote in the foreseeable future, people lined up in the streets yesterday to buy up a million copies of the last edition of Apple Daily.

Chinese officials unleash a tirade of ultra-whiny hurt feelings over Western criticism of the Apple Daily closure. Taiwan says the move shows the world the CCP regime’s ‘totalitarianism and autocracy’.

Ten seconds into a BBC interview, Chris Patten sums it up in his first sentence.

Former editor and senior contributor Lee Yee offers his thoughts via Geremie Barme. Nathan Law does the same in the Spectator.

Atlantic provides a good look back at the often-boisterous tabloid’s impact on Hong Kong, including ‘shaking up the cozy elite world of the developers, politicians and the media’. (If I recall correctly, competitors were so angry at the new Apple Daily’s low cover price that gangsters threw piles of the paper into the sea.)

From AFP: How to shut down a newspaper – a graphic timeline of the strangulation of Apple Daily.

The government’s Science and Technology Park moves to evict Apple Daily’s printing plant from the industrial zone. Why didn’t the CCP think of this earlier – or would it have been too quick?

A diligent pro-Beijing nonentity finds that the Librarian’s Choice display at Shek Tong Tsui public library had 13 (!) Jimmy Lai titles. Sixty armed NatSec Police surround the shelves while dozens of others raid the homes of Leisure and Cultural Services staff. They have now launched a manhunt for several quiet, single, bespectacled women with cats. (OK, so what was DAB lawmaker Horace doing in a library in the first place?)

When they’ve finished with that, they also have the Book Fair to swoop on.

Other horrors…

After nearly a year in jail, Tong Ying-kit goes to trial on NatSec charges in a NatSec court. He is pleading not guilty to incite secession (carrying a flag) and terrorism (riding a motorbike). Stand News report on the trial.

And a little-reported case of an American lawyer who tried to break up a fight and ended up being accused of assaulting a police officer – now convicted.

A quick update from the airport’s London-flight check-in.

Some weekend reading for the armchair China-watchers…

Foreign Affairs tries to explain Xi Jinping’s hasty, hubristic, apparently reckless rush to make himself emperor for life and China the centre of the universe…

Xi believes he can mold China’s future as did the emperors of the country’s storied past. He mistakes this hubris for confidence—and no one dares tell him otherwise. 

An almost-as-good-as-reading-the-article thread – with vids – on the NY Times’ piece about China’s elaborate online disinformation and propaganda campaign to counter Uighur genocide allegations.

On a related note, the Conversation on Beijing’s tireless attempts to rewrite history at home and abroad.

CMP on how China is trying to improve its ‘international discourse power’, especially reaching young media consumers.

If you’re intrigued by the formation of a Communist Party cell in the Chinese space station, here’s a Jamestown article on the whole setting-up of branches overseas, on other planets, etc. I’m thinking of setting up a CCP cell in my bathroom.

For fans of that ‘Last G7’ painting, What’s on Weibo looks at the strange world of Chinese ultra-patriotic online artwork. (Not just a Chinese phenomenon, of course. Fans of this sort of thing should check out Jon McNaughton and Ben Garrison.)

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29 Responses to June 24 declared ‘Apple Day’

  1. Kwun Tong Bypass says:

    For the ones who were not here 20 years ago:


  2. Chinese Netizen says:

    I suggest the online patriots and propaganda bureau art department flunkies just study Western editorial page cartoonists if they want more sophisticated (or sometimes not), effective political satire and commentary directed at Western governments.

    Seeing this CCP approved illustrated mouth frothing is – for lack of a better word – embarrassing. If the target audience is pimply faced, in-country geeks glued to computer monitors 18 hours a day flicking between first person shooting games and Japanese animated porn then fine, I suppose.

  3. Chris Maden says:

    Has anyone noticed the breaking news on HKFP that John Lee and Chris Tang are to be promoted?

    Has anyone noticed that Xinhua knew before Hong Kong’s own government?

  4. Low Profile says:

    @Chinese Netizen – in free countries, there are usually plenty of home-grown cartoonists satirising their own governments (in fact, that is one measure of a country’s freedom). However, they tend to do it subtly with a scalpel; the CCP’s preferred tool is a bludgeon, so it is unlikely to get the point.

  5. Mary Melville says:

    Matthew deemed not dogmatic, malevolent and vindictive enough for the current nature of the CS post.
    And too cuddly looking for the hard line, steely determination, goose stepping line up on stage on July 1

  6. Hugo Maxwell-Mahon says:

    @ Chris Maden

    Yes, they’re long past the point of caring about appearances anyway.

    Further confirmation that the quisling reward scheme is up and running. In the SCMP pic, dead-eyed Lee looks as thrilled as ever and Tang seems to be stifling a cackle.

  7. Knownot says:

    There was a tree in the midst of the garden and it was named, Apple tree.

    And the keepers of the garden said, All those that eat of the fruit of this tree shall know good from evil, and truth from falsehood.

    And the Red God said to Adam and Eve and all the people, Of that tree thou shalt not eat, for in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely be punished, and the tree shall perish.

    But when Adam and Eve and the people saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, they took of the fruit thereof, and did eat.

    And the eyes of them all were opened, and they knew that they were bound as slaves, and they knew that the Red God was evil, and was false.

    And the Red God called to them saying, Hast thou eaten of the Apple tree?

    And they said, We have, and we know –

    But the Red God struck them dumb and bound them yet more tight, and the roots of the Apple tree were frozen, and it perished.

  8. Mjrelje says:

    Nice link Kwan Tong Bypass, a really good insight to the early days. Is ‘Free China’ still afloat?

  9. Chinese Netizen says:

    “Has anyone noticed that Xinhua knew before Hong Kong’s own government?”

    Government? They’re not even on a “need to know” basis.

  10. HillnotPeak says:

    From Anson Chan to John Lee, what an impressive quality boost.
    Now CY can safely return. Holden Chow for CJ.

  11. Penny says:

    “Now CY can safely return. Holden Chow for CJ.”
    And, Elizabeth Quat (with her fake Phd) for Education Secretary.

  12. where's my jet plane says:

    What’s the betting Lee is in line as a candidate to replace Carrie?

  13. Gromit says:

    Is Patten a devotee of Hemlock? Almost a précis of the last few years of the Big Lychee. The bit about the northern kleptocracy moving ill-gotten gains to HK reminded me of the piece Shirley Yam wrote in the Self-Censored Morning Post about some shady financial dealings in HK of (I think) a fringe member of the 100-acre wood. The article was taken off the online edition with unseemly haste; I am not sure if Ms Yam – who always struck me as a diligent, reputable journalist, ever had another article published in that rag.
    Re: the response to the worldwide headlines about Apple closing: I trust that many of us folks are delighted to see ‘hegemony’ being used in official communiqués. It’s right up there with ‘resolute’ and ‘so-called’. However, it is a bit Gramsci, and probably doesn’t groove with the kids. Perhaps the HK government’s PR firm could earn a few extra bob bringing the propaganda dept up to date with current idiom. Or follow Trump’s example (a wannabe autocrat) and just dismiss anything you don’t like as Fake News. After all, tens of millions of Americans believe everything he says (but weirdly disbelieve him when he told them he had been vaccinated – work that one out…dead weird)

  14. Bill Wallace says:


    My recommendation, don’t post when over imbibed

  15. Sam Clemens says:


    “Or follow Trump’s example (a wannabe autocrat) and just dismiss anything you don’t like as Fake News. After all, tens of millions of Americans believe everything he says (but weirdly disbelieve him when he told them he had been vaccinated – work that one out…dead weird)”

    The sobriquet “Fake News” stuck because it’s true.

    Salena Zito offered the best political analysis of Mr. Trump’s polarising effect when she wrote in The Atlantic in September 2016, “The press takes him literally but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.”

    It may surprise some sneering elitist snobs, especially foreign ones, but not all of the 74 million Americans who voted for Mr. Trump in 2020 were ill-educated, gun-toting rednecks in white hoods.

  16. Gromit says:

    One more thing while I remember: what happened to the recent instruction to present a softer side to the world? The memo doesn’t seem to have been circulated to the local shoe-shiners and their handlers.

  17. Chinese Netizen says:

    “It may surprise some sneering elitist snobs, especially foreign ones, but not all of the 74 million Americans who voted for Mr. Trump in 2020 were ill-educated, gun-toting rednecks in white hoods.”

    No doubt. I can name a few: Warren Buffett, Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, The Koch Brothers (whoever’s left), Betsy DeVos…well, you get the idea.

  18. Low Profile says:

    @Gromit – “doomed to fail” seems to be a current favourite as well.

  19. As the people of the former Hong Kong lament the loss of yet another voice for democracy, they should take heart in the knowledge that freedom of speech was only ever a chimera dreamt up by authority to help them identify the disaffected for future correction. A far more effective way of reaching the ear of Beijing is the sound of a truck bomb under a police married quarters, or an elderly pro-government protester screaming as they fall from a high place. In my day people still knew that the only way to effect real change is through lethal violence, preferably inflicted on the supporters of the regime rather than the leaders. Get rid of one tin-pot dictator and another will leap into place. Make collaborators afraid of random attacks and they will melt away.

  20. Mary Melville says:

    In another rewriting of local history, at the opening of the long delayed Tuen Ma Line the CE ‘s statement that “With the SAR’s electoral systems perfected and the Legislative Council returning as a sensible discussion platform, the administration’s governance effectiveness can be raised, and this can help the push for major infrastructural developments,” infers that problems were caused by intransigent representatives of the great unwashed.
    But the GUWs have a clear recollection that in fact the main issue was the safety of the Hung Hom platforms attributable in equal parts to lax management on the part of the MTR, cost cutting and subcontracting on the part of the appointed contractor and failure of government departments to monitor the performance of these parties. Rectification work took many months and cost the tax payer millions in additional costs.
    That the only party who suffered any consequences was the hero who blew the whistle on the shocking circumstances is an indication that under the rubber stamp system now in place and righteous media wiped out. collusion, corruption and nepotism will be the guiding principles of future infrastructure projects.

  21. where's my jet plane says:

    Mrs Lam said: “This year is the beginning of the 14th Five-Year Plan and we are moving into the third year of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. There are abundant opportunities under these two national documents that Hong Kong could seize and bring benefits to our people – whether they are professionals or young people.

    “So the new appointments announced today, in my view, will help us to seize those opportunities in a more efficient way, and that is exactly what I and the Chief Secretary will do jointly in the months ahead.”

    They are fucking policemen, “Move along please, seize the opportunities or we’ll teargas you”.

  22. reductio says:

    @Pope Innocent

    So we just go around killing government supporters? Very propaganda – of – the -deed. You seriously think that’s going to effect positive change? Xinjiang 2.0 coming your way at an SAR near you.

  23. Just Following Orders says:

    Whilst our ecclesiastical contributor’s suggestions are somewhat unpalatable, there must be plenty of folks out there who’re thinking along similar lines. After all, the CCP and its emboldened local quislings do not appear predisposed to reversing the horrors they’ve bestowed upon the people of Hong Kong. In fact, their behaviour so far is right out of the pages of ‘How to Instigate an Insurgency 101’.

    However, for any angry HKers contemplating the use of violence as a means of making existence uncomfortable for their tormentors, I would advise against taking up the sword within the borders of HK (or greater China for that matter). HK has no vast wildernesses in which to run away and hide, escape by sea is difficult (as the 12 found out) and, as @reductio suggests, the subsequent ‘revenge’ that will be brought down on HK does not bear thinking about.

    But yes, plenty of folks must be thinking along these lines; it’s human nature. But if we’re going to tell them not to go down that route, don’t we need to offer them some alternatives? Any suggestions?

  24. In tears says:


    Second only to Hemlock with your accuracy, remember the truth now is not only not welcomed but regarded as a threat.

  25. Red Dragon says:

    Keep seizing opportunities efficiently, Carrie.

    After all, opportunities can rarely, if ever, be seized inefficiently.

    Has anyone noticed that Carrie’s English has gone to the dogs?

    Fucking robot.

  26. Gromit says:

    @Sam Clemens ‘The sobriquet “Fake News” stuck because it’s true.’ Discuss.

    That would make a good exam question.

    Would you mind elaborating on your conclusion, e.g. how it is reached?

  27. Low Profile says:

    @Mary Melville – as you correctly point out, the democratically elected LegCo members did not obstruct the Tuen Ma line, which everyone recognises will be benefidcial to Hong Kong. However, Carrie Lam must be peeing her pants with delight that there will no longer be any voice of reason in the legislature to oppose her ridiculous pet project, the East Lantau Tomorrow Environmental Disaster Zone Vision thing. And why is the government still pouring our money into the Third Runway when aviation experts generally forecast that the air travel industry will take years to recover from the Covid downturn?

  28. where's my jet plane says:

    I have 44 years’ experience in the Government

    An outstanding terminological inexactitude to start his career as Chief Secretary.
    No, Mr Lee, 30 years as a Mr Plod in NOT “experience in the government”

  29. Northern Menace says:

    For the next Librarian’s Choice may I suggest “The Moon is Down” by John Steinbeck. Or anything by A. A. Milne.

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