According to Article 27 of the Basic Law, Hong Kong residents have the right to freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom to publish. The new political environment has seen the authorities secretly remove a lot of news articles and books without divulging their lists.
Apple Daily were the first to be cut. Apple Daily was a 26-year-old news outlet in Hong Kong that supported democratic activism before it was shut down by the National Security Law of Hong Kong.
To mark the anniversary of Apple Daily’s closing, an online media “hk.feature” discovered that WiseNews – a news database providing electronic newspaper clipping search for Hong Kong public library libraries – had deleted all Apple Daily news reports.
The eradication or revocation of Apply Daily News might indicate that WiseNews is no longer available to students and teachers, but also primary and secondary schools and other tertiary institutions in Hong Kong.
Founded in 1996, Apple Daily was suspended on June 24, 2021, after several of its senior executives and journalists were accused, charged, and detained. The last print of its physical newspaper was released on June 24, 2021. Local journalists found out that the Leisure and Cultural Services Department in Hong Kong had taken away all its newspaper and printed copies of Next Magazine and Apple Daily.
A year later, based on the follow-up reports of “hk.feature”, books, magazines or other publications of Apple Daily including Jimmy Lai’s book “Dawn of the Entrepreneur” which had been recommended by the “Library Resource Selection” in 2015, and was available for rent, were taken down by the National Security Law.
The library staff confirmed that the publications were taken off the shelves and given away.
As for other physical publications, when searched using the keyword “Apply Daily” in the Hong Kong Public Library search system, although 54 results were found, most of them belonged to the section of leisure and practical studies for further education.
Almost all of them had nothing to do with politics. Online media believed that LCSD had wiped out Apple Daily’s political publications.
The media reporters searched the WiseNews library search engine and did not find anything under Apple Daily or when any data had been deleted. A second search result was found using “June 4th” as the keyword; it had also lost 7. 27 percent of its original clippings since the removal of Apple Daily. The cumulative loss was 14,143 results. If categorized by “Hong Kong Districts,” the loss is even more devastating at 17 percent.
As this article was written, the news agencies that remained in search results for “June 4, 2008” in Hong Kong libraries were still run by leftist progovernment outlets like Wen Wei Po and Ta Kung Pao. The only traditional newspaper seen was Ming Pao.
According to public records WiseNews was established in 1998, in order to provide information content in Greater China. It is located in Hong Kong and has branches in Beijing.
In 1999, WiseNews, the Government Innovation and Technology Fund sponsored it; they also formed strategic partnerships with large companies such as Microsoft.
As of June 2017, WiseNews has over 470,000 content sources, containing more than 59 billion articles, and it is growing rapidly at 68 million articles per day.
Many students and teachers in Hong Kong use WiseNews’ news search services.