'..Jimmy Lai .. been seen as one of the most vocal voices against the Hong Kong and the Chinese governments..'

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'The rivalry between the two newspapers goes back years as they battled for readers. Apple Daily has championed the cause of pro-democracy protesters and has also unearthed scandals involving some of China’s most powerful leaders. While some say Oriental Daily focused on protester violence during last year’s demonstrations, the publication said in a statement through its lawyers that its coverage was “fair and neutral.”

The son of the paper’s founder was once a delegate to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the nation’s top political advisory body in Beijing. He did not participate in any editorial decisions, Oriental Daily said.


In the protest-related cases, Lai has been charged with participating in and organizing unauthorized assembly and inciting others to join, violations that carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

For many in Hong Kong, China’s statements attacking Lai suggest it’s only a matter of time before he winds up in jail and his newspaper is shut down.

“A lot of people see the charges against Jimmy Lai as political in the sense that he and his media group have, over the years, been seen as one of the most vocal voices against the Hong Kong and the Chinese governments,” said Chris Yeung, chairman of the Hong Kong Journalists Association. “The government is trying to further weaken the power and role of the media.” '

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