HONG KONG – The Hong Kong stock exchange on Monday halted trading in Next Digital’s shares, days after authorities froze assets owned by its founder Jimmy Lai.
Next Digital said in a filing that it requested the suspension after authorities announced it had frozen Lai’s assets on Friday. Next Digital published the pro-democracy tabloid Apple Daily, and the company was founded by Lai, its controlling shareholder.
The freeze came as Lai and nine other pro-democracy activists appeared in court on Monday, facing charges of inciting others to attend an unauthorized assembly in October 2019.
Lai is currently serving a 14-month prison sentence for his role in two separate unauthorized assemblies in 2019. He is also being investigated by the national security department for allegedly colluding with foreign powers and endangering national security.
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