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Shares Of Jimmy Lai’s Newspaper Soar As Hong Kong Vows To “Fight On” Against CCP Crackdown

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Hong Kongers are literally using the financial markets, considered the beating heart of the global capitalist system, to fight the nominally "Communist" rulers in Beijing. One day after Hong Kong police arrested media Tycoon Jimmy Lai, who holds British citizenship as well, the stock of Next Digital, Lai's media company which owns Apple Daily, HK's most popular daily newspaper, and a frequent thorn in the side of the CCP.

After arresting Lai in April over allegations he fueled last year's pro-democracy unrest, police arrested him again yesterday in the first major arrest tied to the new national security law. The arrest of Lai, his sons and other pro-democracy figures, including youth activist Agnes Chow, who was released from jail on Tuesday. The arrests prompted Secretary of State Pompeo and top UK diplomats to denounce the latest "disturbing" strike against the freedoms ensconced in the "Basic Law".

But now that flooding into the streets in protests carries too much risk for the average Hong Konger (who is now facing COVID and laws conflating dissent with terrorism), many have found an interesting and innovative way to support the pro-democracy movement: buying shares in Next Digital, the parent company of "Apple Daily".

After shedding 20% of its value yesterday, Next Digital has surged on a flood of mom and pop orders.

In just one day, the stock rose 4x from peak to trough…

Hitting its highest level since 2013."

Shares closed on Tuesday at HK$1.10, up from its close of HK$0.255 just 24 hours before. The paper printed and sold more than half a million copies of yesterday's edition, 5x the normal number.

On Tuesday, the newspaper's front page showed an image of Mr Lai in handcuffs with the headline: "Apple Daily must fight on." It comes as the paper published extraordinary scenes, streamed live on Monday, of police leading a handcuffed Jimmy Lai through his newsroom as nearly 200 officers raided the building.

Many cited the escalating crackdown on dissent as "the day Hong Kong's press freedoms died". US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo complained China had "eviscerated Hong Kong’s freedoms".

In a clever display of support, Hong Kongers started lining up to buy Tuesday's print edition at around 0230 local time.

As copies quickly sold out, some bought multiple issues to hand out to passersby.

"(I bought these) to hand them out to others, I'm afraid a lot of people can`t get their copies," said one anonymous woman who spoke with a BBC reporter. She had bought 16 copies. Online subscriptions have soared by 20,000 just this week alone.

Pro-democracy activists are calling for supporters to buy the stock.

In a statement, the paper has promised to "fight on", and said the search warrant executed on its offices (not to mention Lai's arrest) will have no impact on the paper's operations.


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