Press Releases in Hong Kong

High Court orders winding up of Jimmy Lai’s Next Digital

This photo shows the High Court building in Hong Kong on Aug 17, 2017. (ANTHONY WALLACE / AFP)

The High Court on Wednesday ordered the winding up of now-defunct Apple Daily’s parent company Next Digital, founded by media mogul Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, over insolvency and citing the protection of public interest.

Master Jack Wong Kin-tong issued the decision after the application filed by the Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po.

The court was told that the company has multiple assets and HK$70 million ($9 million) in cash while it recorded a net loss of HK$240 million, including HK$120 million in outstanding salaries for its Hong Kong employees.

READ MORE: Jimmy Lai, two others found guilty of 2020 unauthorized assembly

According to information provided by the government, the media group is insolvent and made questionable transactions. These transactions allegedly involved an early repayment of HK$120 million to its founder and creditor Lai, and allowed Lai to use the company’s assets for his private company.

Lai is currently serving a 20-month jail term for his role in several illegal assemblies. The company also has business in Taiwan.

No representatives of the company attended the court hearing on Wednesday.