Apple Daily could be just days away from having to shut down after the board of directors at its parent company agreed on Monday to make a final decision on the matter on Friday pending an appeal to have the group’s assets unfrozen.
Next Digital’s board sent a letter to Hong Kong’s secretary for security, John Lee, requesting that some of the company’s assets be unfrozen so that employees can be paid.
If the decision is taken on Friday to cease operations, the online news section of Apple Daily is expected to stop updating on Saturday morning at the earliest, while the final print edition will also be published on Saturday.
Next Digital is due to pay its staff at the end of the month, which leaves fewer than 10 days before the company risks being in breach of labor laws due to salary arrears.
On Thursday, HK$18 million worth of assets held by three Next Digital companies were frozen, with the police warning seven local banks not to deal with the assets.