Jimmy Lai vs. China

This episode contains strong language.

Jimmy Lai was born in mainland China but made his fortune in Hong Kong, starting as a sweatshop worker and becoming a clothing tycoon. After the Tiananmen massacre in 1989, he turned his attention to the media, launching publications critical of China’s Communist Party.

“I believe in the media,” he told Austin Ramzy, a Hong Kong reporter for The New York Times. “By delivering information, you’re actually delivering freedom.”

In August, he was arrested under Hong Kong’s new Beijing-sponsored national security law.

Today, we talk to Mr. Lai about his life, his arrest and campaigning for democracy in the face of China’s growing power.

Guests: Austin Ramzy, who covers Hong Kong for The New York Times, spoke with Jimmy Lai, a pro-democracy media tycoon and founder of Apple Daily.  

For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily 

Background reading: 

  • In August, Mr. Lai, his two sons and four executives from Apple Daily were arrested under the new national security law. The publication was a target and a test case for the government’s authority over the media.
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