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NEXT DIGITAL LIMITED

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Taiwan says HK tycoon asset freeze a warning to global investors

05/15/2021 | 01:54am EDT
FILE PHOTO: Media mogul Jimmy Lai, founder of Apple Daily, leaves the Court of Final Appeal by prison van in Hong Kong

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan warned on Saturday that Hong Kong's decision to freeze assets belonging to jailed media tycoon Jimmy Lai was a sign to the international community that doing business in the Chinese-controlled city was becoming increasingly risky.

The asset freeze, announced on Friday, includes all shares in his company, Next Digital - the first time a listed firm has been target by national security laws in the financial hub.

Shortly before the announcement, the Taiwan arm of Lai's popular Apple Daily said it would stop publishing its print version, blaming declining advertising revenue and more difficult business conditions in Hong Kong linked to politics.

In a statement sent to Reuters, Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council said the asset seizure highlighted the threat Hong Kong's national security law posed to the property of the city's people.

"It is equivalent to announcing to the international community that Hong Kong's business risks are increasing," the council added.

"We also once again call on relevant parties to stop suppressing Hong Kong democrats, otherwise they will drift away from popular sentiment."

The former British colony of Hong Kong has been rocked by protests against its Beijing-backed government in recent years and last year China imposed a tough new national security law on the city.

China denies it is aimed at taking away people's freedoms and is needed to return law and order to Hong Kong.

Chinese-claimed Taiwan has a rambunctious democracy and a free media and its government has been strongly critical of the crackdown in Hong Kong, to Beijing's anger.

Lai was sentenced to 14 months in prison for taking part in unauthorised assemblies during pro-democracy protests in 2019.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Sam Holmes)


ę Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
APPLE INC. 1.41% 132.3 Delayed Quote.-1.68%
MSCI TAIWAN (STRD) -2.62% 687.438 Real-time Quote.17.47%
NEXT DIGITAL LIMITED -3.33% 0.29 End-of-day quote.7.41%
All news about NEXT DIGITAL LIMITED
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05:21aHK's Apple Daily to shut within days, says Jimmy Lai adviser
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03:41aNext digital to "stop uploading" of apple daily's online version by saturday ..
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01:38aNEXT DIGITALá : TIMELINE-The rise and fall of HK's Apple Daily and media magnate..
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12:13aEXCLUSIVE : HK's Apple Daily to shut within days, says Jimmy Lai adviser
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06/20NEXT DIGITALá : Adviser to jailed HK tycoon Jimmy Lai says Apple Daily to shut w..
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06/20NEXT DIGITALá : Adviser to jailed HK tycoon Jimmy Lai says Apple Daily to shut w..
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Financials
Sales 2020 1 158 M 149 M 149 M
Net income 2020 -415 M -53,5 M -53,5 M
Net Debt 2020 537 M 69,1 M 69,1 M
P/E ratio 2020 -1,02x
Yield 2020 -
Capitalization 765 M 98,5 M 98,5 M
EV / Sales 2019 0,51x
EV / Sales 2020 0,83x
Nbr of Employees 2 095
Free-Float 28,1%
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Managers and Directors
NameTitle
Kim Hung Cheung Group Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
Chi Keung Hung Chief Financial Officer
Yut Kin Ip Chairman
L. Gordon Crovitz Independent Non-Executive Director
Mark Lambert Clifford Independent Non-Executive Director
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