The Sun newspaper is to cease publishing on Friday after 17 years of operation “in view of the recent deteriorating business environment in Hong Kong”, its owners have announced.

The board of directors of Oriental Press Group Limited, the listed company which owns the paper, announced the news on Tuesday night with a notice posted through the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The operation of the newspaper’s electronic version and its website will also be suspended on April 1.

The Sun on March 29.
The Sun front page on March 29.

The newspaper, founded in March 1999, started as a cheaper alternative in the news market with a cover price of HK$2. Other papers at the time were selling for around HK$5.

The Sun is known for its tabloid style and pro-Beijing stance. The group claims that it was the city’s third best selling newspaper for all of its 17 year history.

The group said it does not preclude the possibility of resuming publication should the economy and the business environment improve in the future. It said it will reallocate its resources and focus on strengthening the development of its other businesses.

The group also owns Oriental Daily, one of the best selling newspapers in Hong Kong.

The suspension will not have any material adverse impact on the financial position of the parent group, and is in the best interests of the company and its shareholders as a whole, its board said.

In March, the group also ceased publication of “Good News”, a free weekly newspaper founded in 2012.

Last July, Hong Kong Daily News shut down. After 56 years, the paper said that it had been losing money due to a change in reader habits and competition from free papers.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.