The Hong Kong Police Pressure mentioned in a press release Monday that seven folks aged between 39 and 72 have been arrested on costs, together with collusion and conspiracy to commit fraud. The police assertion didn’t title any particular person, however a spokesman informed CNN that Lai was amongst them.
Later Monday morning, a livestream uploaded to Fb by Apple Each day confirmed police looking the corporate’s newsroom. A police spokesperson confirmed to CNN that the company had a search warrant to enter Apple Each day’s workplace.
Under the new security law, which was imposed on town by Beijing final month, the offense of colluding with international powers carries a most penalty of life imprisonment. Lai has robust ties to Washington and has lobbied for the USA to take a tougher line on China. What he has accomplished to contravene the law because it handed is unclear.
The Hong Kong authorities has defended the law as needed to guard national security. It has been denounced by human rights teams, the European Union, and the USA as overly broad and restrictive of town’s civil liberties.
A former clothes magnate, Lai based Hong Kong’s Apple Each day newspaper in 1995 — two years earlier than Hong Kong was handed over from British to Chinese language management. Modeled visually on USA At present, the paper brought on a minor revolution within the metropolis’s media panorama, sparking a value warfare and drastically altering how rivals operated as they struggled to maintain up with Lai’s flashy tabloid sensibilities.
Whereas specializing in movie star gossip and different tabloid fare, for the reason that handover the paper has emerged as one of many fiercest critics of the native authorities and Beijing. It has overtly supported the pro-democracy motion and anti-government protests, printing flyers and posters in its pages that individuals can lower out and take to marches.
This drove the 71-year-old Lai to a spot of prominence inside the opposition motion, and made him a determine of loathing for pro-Beijing politicians and media within the metropolis.
The Individuals’s Each day — the official mouthpiece of the Chinese language Communist Celebration — claimed on the time that Lai was a part of a quartet of “secretive middlemen and fashionable traitors,” as Beijing tried responsible the unrest in Hong Kong on international forces.
CNN’s Isaac Yee and Jenni Marsh contributed reporting.