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The home of Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai and the headquarters of the company he founded came under a coordinated attack in the early hours of Monday, local time.
Masked men struck Lai’s home and the Next Media HQ with petrol bombs five minutes apart. The flaming missiles hit their intended targets but were quickly extinguished by security guards local media reports say.
The vehicles used by the attackers were later found torched and their license plates removed.
Police said the motivation behind the attack had not been established, and they are still investigating; however, local media suggest that the incident is linked to Lai’s outspoken support of recent pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong as well as his criticism of the Chinese government.
Lai was often seen at the demonstrations themselves, and he was arrested by Hong Kong police on Dec. 13 for failing to clear a protest site. The following day, Lai stepped down from his role as CEO and chairman of Next Media.
Next Media, a holding group for Next Magazine and Apple Daily, Hong Kong’s largest daily newspaper founded by Lai in 1995, has also long supported the pro-democracy movement and has suffered cyberattacks originating from China.
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