The liquidators of Next Digital, the company which published Hong Kong’s defunct pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily, say they are investigating media reports that the Taiwanese edition of the tabloid had been sold without their knowledge.

The liduidators, in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Tuesday, said they had noted “certain media reports” which suggested the tabloid had been sold for over TWD 300 million (HK$79 million).

Next Digital building
Next Digital and Apple Daily’s office in Tseung Kwan O. Photo: Kelly Ho/HKFP

It added that the liquidators and director of its Taiwanese subsidiary were investigating the alleged disposal “and will take necessary action if any unauthorised disposal” had taken place.

Trading in Next Digital shares was suspended on June 17 last year, when hundreds of police officers raided its headquarters and arrested five senior executives under the Beijing-imposed national security law. Hong Kong’s High Court ordered the company to be wound up amid court cases involving the defunct Apple Daily Hong Kong and its founder Jimmy Lai.

Apple Daily
People hold placards to show support for Apple Daily Hong Kong on its last day of operation. Photo: Studio Incendo.

The status of the Taiwan newspaper remains unclear. Former Next Digital executive Mark Simon said on Twitter on Wednesday that it had gone “rogue.”

“Honestly, as soon as our Board of Directors got the [axe], Taiwan Apple Daily started functioning on its own. As far as I know the liquidators never even visited Taiwan up until March of this year. Place went rogue,” he tweeted.

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Tom is the editor-in-chief and founder of Hong Kong Free Press. He has a BA in Communications and New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He has contributed to the BBC, Euronews, Al-Jazeera and others.