Dec 23, 2020

Hong Kong pro-democracy media mogul Jimmy Lai granted bail

Hong Kong's High Court has granted bail to pro-democracy media mogul Jimmy Lai, the most high-profile person charged under a controversial new security law. Judge Alex Lee set a number of other conditions for bail, including Mr Lai having to remain at home, surrender all travel documents and hold no meetings with foreign officials or foreign institutions deemed to be hostile to China. Mr Lai has also been banned from posting on social media, issuing statements or speaking to the media. One of the city's most prominent supporters of the pro-democracy movement, Mr Lai is estimated to be worth more than $1bn. Having made his initial fortune in the clothing industry, he later ventured into media and founded Next Digital, the parent company of Apple Daily - a tabloid that is critical of the mainland Chinese leadership. In a local media landscape increasingly fearful of Beijing, Mr Lai is a persistent thorn for China - both through his publications and writing that openly criticises the Chinese leadership.

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