Police stand outside the headquarters of the now-defunct Apple Daily in Hong Kong on Aug 10, 2020. (LUI SIU WAI / XINHUA)
HONG KONG – Paul Chan Mo-po, financial secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government, has presented a petition to the Court of First Instance to wind up Next Digital Limited, a company controlled by Jimmy Lai Chee-ying.
The financial secretary is empowered to do so for the public interest, according to Hong Kong's Companies Ordinance.
Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission also believes that it is desirable in the public interest for Next Digital to be wound up
Chan appointed an inspector two months ago to investigate into the affairs of Next Digital and, after reviewing an interim report in mid-September, decided that it is expedient in the public interest for the company to be wound up.
READ MORE: Jimmy Lai gets 14 months in 2nd illegal assembly conviction
Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission has separately conducted extensive inquiries into the Next Digital company and provided the financial secretary with relevant information and evidence. The commission also believes that it is desirable in the public interest for the company to be wound up.
All the shares of Next Digital held by Lai and the property in the local bank accounts of three companies owned by him were frozen in May under the National Security Law in Hong Kong. Five executives of Next Digital and Apple Daily owned by the company were arrested in June.
ALSO READ: Closure of Apple Daily: Political obsessions affect everybody who is involved