Next Digital asked to prove listing eligibility

Next Digital said on Thursday night that the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong has asked it to provide details on whether it still has a sufficient level of operations and assets to warrant its continued listing.

This came two weeks after its main business, the pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily, ceased operations after the government froze its assets and arrested a number of its senior executives on alleged national security violations.

Shares of the company have been suspended since July 17, when national security police raided Apple Daily’s headquarters again and arrested its chief executive, Cheung Kim-hung, chief operating officer Chow Tat-kuen, editor-in-chief, Ryan Law, associate publisher Chan Pui-man and chief executive editor Cheung Chi-wai.

Cheung and Law have since been charged with collusion with foreign or external forces, while the other three were released on bail.

Chow has resigned from his positions as executive director, chief operating officer, company secretary and other posts in the media firm, with effect from July 2, citing health reasons, Next Digital announced in the filing to the stock exchange on Thursday night.

The company also said its chief financial officer, Dennis Hung, has also resigned.

It added that it has received resignation letters from Cheung Kim-hung resigning from his CEO position as well as other posts in the group.

Last August, hundreds of police officers descended on Apple Daily’s headquarters in Tseung Kwan O for the first time and raided its offices following the arrest of its founder Jimmy Lai under the National Security Law, a little over a month after Beijing imposed the law on Hong Kong.

Lai has been remanded in custody since then having been denied bail and jailed over other protest-related cases.