Ma Sik-chun, co-founder of the Oriental Press Group, and a fugitive wanted by the Hong Kong government for drug charges, has died in Taiwan at 77.

The media mogul passed away in a hospital in Taipei on Sunday following multiple organ failures, according to Taiwanese paper Liberty Times.

ma sik-chun
HK media mogul Ma Sik-chun arrested in 1978 on drug smuggling and bribery charges. Photo: Apple Daily

Ma and his younger brother Ma Sik-yu founded the Oriental Press Group, which owns Chinese-language newspaper Oriental Daily and popular news website, in 1969. The Ma brothers both fled to Taiwan after being charged with opium smuggling and bribery in 1977 and 1978. The younger Ma died in Taiwan in 1992

The Oriental Press Group is now run by Ma Sik-chun’s son Ricky Ma Ching-fat. The family reportedly owns a large number of assets in Europe, North America and Australia.

Vivienne Zeng is a journalist from China with three years' experience covering Hong Kong and mainland affairs. She has an MA in journalism from the University of Hong Kong. Her work has been featured on outlets such as Al Jazeera+ and MSNBC.