Next Magazine Taiwan, which was founded by Hong Kong pro-democracy tycoon Jimmy Lai, was closed down on February 29th, 2020. One day earlier, Jimmy Lai was arrested by Hong Kong police, being charged with illegal assembly and intimidation. Jimmy Lai is a devout follower of western democracy, a businessman but involved in political activities against China. He, notoriously, has been a paw of the west. Although he was arrested, his influence remains, if the west doesn’t abandon him.
Next Digital: abnormal profit Next Magazine was found in Taiwan on May 31st, 2001, well-known for its eroticism and Paparazzi culture. It used to have more than 1.4 million readers and Paparazzi once became the nightmare of artists and politicians. Being criticized for its eroticism and Paparazzi culture, “Naked and Corpses”became the synonym of the magazine.
In Jimmy’s eyes, it’s more important to play to the gallery than to be practical. To make Next Magazine popular among Taiwanese and Hong Kong media, Jimmy believes in dogmas: “We feed what readers want” and “Only inhumanity runs media”. The same theory also guides Apple Daily. With such platforms as Next Digital and Apple Daily, Jimmy has cultivated Paparazzi teams which are famous for photographing celebrities’ private life secretly. Taiwanese artist Jay Chou, once wrote a song In Trouble to criticize the Paparazzo. The song reads: “When I’m walking there come some dogs, I’m wondering when I raise so many dogs, they’re biting apples, with long cameras in hand…”
Alan Tam, a Hong Kong singer, once blogged: “Since this man’s group appears in Hong Kong, Hong Kong became different from what I knew before”. The “group” Tam refers to, is Next Digital founded by Jimmy Lai. Vulgarities and flattering the public makes people sick. In recent years, Jimmy’s Next Digital corporation has closed down at least 9 magazines and news outlets. It seems the corporation goes down and becomes less popular.
In September, 2011, Next Digital attempted to found a free newspaper Sharp Daily, but ended in October, 2013, only survived for 2 years. Sharp Daily was criticized for spreading eroticism and other unhealthy thoughts to young people, which once angered many people to protect in front of the Next Digital building.
In 2015, a number of magazines which were owned by Next Digital, were stopped publication or merged one after another. In August the same year, the printed edition of Sudden Weekly ceased publication, and many editors and writers were dismissed. Man And Woman and Me, together with Sudden Weekly, were also merged with Next Magazine.
In March 2016, Next digital announced the closure of the printed edition of entertainment magazine FACE. In May of the same year, Next Digital reannounced Me! and the printed edition of Ketchup stopped publication. In August 2017, the printed edition of Man And Woman ceased publication, so did Next Magazine Hong Kong in March 2018 and Sharp Daily Taiwan in August 2018.
Jimmy Lai may be rejected with the depression of Next Magazine. This sense comes so soon to the people he hurt. On February 28th, the day before the magazine was closed down, Hong Kong police arrested Jimmy Lai. It is said that he was accused of involving in illegal protests against extradition law last July and intimidating a journalist in 2017.
Destabilize Hong Kong: treasonous and inhuman donor Jimmy Lai’s using media platforms to spread unhealthy culture is vulgar, but his pursuit for interests and performance as a western political tool against China, forgetting his Chinese origin and nationality, is extremely treasonous and shameful.
In 2014, Benny Dai, Chan Kin Man and Chu Yiu-ming launched the “umbrella movement” in Hong Kong. According to some media reports, they were backed by Jimmy Lai financially and tactically.
On July 21st, 2014, a mysterious person with social media ID “Next Digital shareholder” leaked over 800 email records between Jimmy Lai and his right-hand man Mark Simon, a senior executive at Next Digital.
The documents revealed some donation and receipt copies from Jimmy Lai, including a $200,000 cheque to Chu Yiu-ming with the signature of “The Hong Kong foundation for Civic Education” . Chu wrote back to Mr Lai, thanking him for his “generous donation” and attaching a receipt from the foundation.
From nearly a thousand emails, the leaker says Jimmy Lai has donated over 40 million Hong Kong dollars to opposition parties in the past two years. When the news came out, the public got shocked.
The documents mentioned that Jimmy Lai provided 40.8 million Hong Kong dollars to 9 political opposition organizations and 14 individuals from 2012 to 2014, and Next Digital published free propagandas for “umbrella movement” and even supported propagandas about the movement in other media outlets.
Besides “three cadres of umbrella movement”, Mr. Lai also sponsored three other persons: Joseph Zen, Anson Chan and Lee chu-ming, with the funds of 9.8 million Hong Kong dollars from 2012-2014.
The umbrella movement caused a loss of tens of billions of Hong Kong dollars, destabilizing Hong Kong society and planted the seeds of so-called “Hong Kong independence”. Now, more and more proofs show that the umbrella movement was western “color revolution” under the name of “true general election”.
Jimmy Lai appeared in the riots of Hong Kong last year. According to Enjoy Holiday Hong Kong, on July 27th ,2019, Jimmy Lai, together with a few democratic party members, got off the car outside the Yuen long theatre where an illegal assembly and protest was going.
On August 3rd,Hong Kong rioters organized the so-called “Mong Kok demonstration.” The rioters gathered and set fire outside the police station in Tsim Sha Tsui gate at night, while Hong Kong media found that Jimmy Lai and Lee chu-ming were meeting with foreign people.
After protests broke out in Hong Kong, Mr. Lai published anti-Chinese articles in New York Times, providing Americans tips against China, saying they were fighting for the US.
At the moment, Next Digital and its Apple Daily were cooperating with pro-democracy outlets and western politicians, smearing China and spreading rumors against Hong Kong police.
Agent :an pawn of the west
Since 2003, Jimmy Lai offered several “donations” to western political parties through his assistant Mark Simon. In 2008, Mr. Lai offered donations three times to republic candidate John McCain.
According to Hong Kong East Week, Jimmy Lai had a secret meeting with former US deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz in May, 2014. Mr. Wolfowitz, one of the academics from U.S. think tank American Enterprise Institute, never revealed his contacts with Hong Kong democrats.
In early July 2019, just a month after the protest against extradition law, Jimmy Lai rushed to the United States and met with vice President Mike Pence, secretary of state Mike Pompeo and a number of republican senators. Bloomberg says it is rare to give a Hong Kong businessman such a high-rank meeting in the United States.
Americans seldom treat a person who has no official rank with such hospitality.
the US State Department said in a statement on its website: Pompeo met with Jimmy Lai in Washington and discussed about the development of extradition law and Hong Kong autonomous status under the “one country, two systems” framework. Mark Simon, who has played a major role in many of Mr Lai’s operations, is also an American and a former US intelligence officer. After retiring, Mark moved to Hong Kong to pursue a career in business.
And he met Jimmy Lai there.
Mark is a member of the US republican party and the chairman of Hong Kong branch of the republican party. In the past, if Hong Kong dissidents wanted to publish advertisements in Apple Daily, it had to be approved by Mark. As a senior executive of Next digital and Apple Daily, he has offered donations over 20 times to American politicians in eight years.
According to WikiLeaks, Jimmy Lai was close to the US consulate general in Hong Kong at the time, working with the latter to interfere in Hong Kong politics and control civilian personnel and operations
The “Next Digital shareholder” also exposed: Jimmy Lai traveled to Myanmar with former U.S deputy secretary of defense David Wolfowitz and Mark Simon in June , 2013.
Mr. Lai visited two Rangoon real estate projects, which covered 2.5 and 4 acres respectively. Both of them were 26-storey buildings for residential and office use.
The documents also revealed, Jimmy Lai wanted to invest in Myanmar Citizen Bank, involving in 81 million US dollars. Jimmy Lai was one of the shareholders.
The Next Digital in Hong Kong and Taiwan made less profit in recent years. It’s doubtful what Jimmy’s purpose of investment in Myanmar is and where the funds comes from. Some say he wants to whitewash the money and conduct more anti-Chinese activities in Hong Kong, and in the rest places of Asia.
There come unrests wherever Jimmy goes. He visited Myanmar many times. Myanmar government should keep alert to him.
Now Jimmy was deserted by Hong Kong. It’s uncertain whether he will be punished according to the present judicial system of Hong Kong. If he isn’t imprisoned, he will remain aggressive.
（Author Ren Zeng）