In June 2020, Beijing inserted national security legislation directly into Hong Kong’s mini-constitution – bypassing the local legislature – following a year of pro-democracy protests and unrest. It criminalised subversion, secession, collusion with foreign forces and terrorist acts, which were broadly defined to include disruption to public transport and other infrastructure. The move gave police sweeping new powers, alarming democrats, civil society groups and trade partners, as such laws have been used broadly to silence and punish dissidents in China. However, the authorities say it has restored stability and peace to the city.


Hong Kong’s press freedom clampdown echoes around the world

Since my last press freedom round-up in early June, much has happened in Hong Kong. Apple Daily closed, the trial of the first person arrested under the National Security Law began, more democratic politicians have resigned their posts and others wait in jail for their court date. RTHK continues to cancel programming and scrubbing its […]

Sheep, wolves, and the Hong Kong government’s epidemic of ‘so called’

We are in an official epidemic of the “so-called”. Readers with a taste for statistics will find the figures here. This article reports the results of an unusual academic pursuit, whose output for our purposes includes the fact that “so-called” appeared in no less than 80 Hong Kong government press releases and speech transcripts last year, compared […]



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Hong Kong Book Fair: Two local publishers keep titles on sale despite security law complaints

Two Hong Kong publishers – who received complaints of suspected national security violations – have decided to keep selling the titles in question at the city’s annual book fair in a bid to “defend” the freedom to publish under the sweeping security legislation. Local publishing companies Hillway Press and Kind of Culture confirmed with HKFP […]

Hong Kong Wikipedia editors take precautions amid fears mainland peers may report users to national security police

A group of Hong Kong Wikipedia editors have convened an urgent meeting and shared guidelines to prevent doxxing, after users from mainland China allegedly threatened to report the group to the city’s national security police. Representatives from the group told HKFP they are hoping to seek assistance from the Wikimedia Foundation after a meeting. HKFP […]

Wikipedia wars: How Hongkongers and mainland Chinese are battling to set the narrative

As Hongkongers reckon with the closure of one of the city’s mainstream news outlets, drastic political changes and a sweeping national security law, the city’s keyboard warriors on Wikipedia are also coming under pressure. Battles between competing editors of the crowd-sourced encyclopaedia’s articles about Hong Kong political events have been a daily occurrence since the […]


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