Businessman Kenny Wee is suing online media outlet Citizen News for defamation over an article relating to his purchase of tabloid publication Next Magazine.

Wee filed an action with the court on Monday against the Citizen News company and its editor-in-chief Daisy Li over the article published on November 22.

In July, Wee sold off his free newspaper Metro Daily in anticipation of the Next Magazine acquisition. The purchase, however, was delayed and the transaction has still yet been completed. The article was bylined “Citizen News reporter.”

The proposed purchase sparked fears from the Next Media group’s labour union that the outspoken magazine would lose its editorial independence, while Wee has threatened to dismiss employees who are “biased” against him.

Next Magazine. File photo: Elson Tong/HKFP.

Wee, the plaintiff, is requiring that the article be taken down from the news website and be permanently erased from the archives, as well as for compensation to be paid. The writ also states that the article should not be republished in any magazine or on other websites. It is still accessible on the Citizen News website as of 4pm Tuesday.

Wee is further seeking a permanent injunction to prevent the defendant from publishing the above report or “other libellous comments.”

Photo provided by Citizen News.

According to Citizen News, the writ has been handed over to their lawyer.

Li told HKFP that there was “No more we can talk about at this moment.”

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Hong Kong Free Press is a new, non-profit, English-language news source seeking to unite critical voices on local and national affairs. Free of charge and completely independent, HKFP arrives amid rising concerns over declining press freedom in Hong Kong and during an important time in the city’s constitutional development.