Hong Kong Media Mogul Arrested Over Alleged Foreign Collusion

Jimmy Lai - Getty - H 2020
JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images

Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai, a leading figure in the city's pro-democracy movement, was detained under the controversial new national security laws.

Hong Kong media mogul and pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai has been arrested over alleged foreign collusion, under provisions of the controversial new national security law. 

Lai, the founder of Hong Kong's leading newspaper Apple Daily and the media company Next Digital, was detained Monday morning according to a report in Apple Daily. The newspaper reported that Lai's son had also been arrested. 

Mainland Chinese media reports say that the 71-year-old Lai was arrested for colluding with foreign forces and violating Hong Kong's recently implemented national security law. If Lai is charged and convicted he could face anything from 3 years to up to 10 years in prison. The law, which came into affect June 30, broadly prohibits acts of treason, secession, sedition and subversion against Hong Kong. 

Later on Monday morning, local reports suggested Hong Kong police had raided the offices of Next Digital. 

Lai's arrest comes as U.S.-China tensions over the situation in Hong Kong continue to escalate. Last week, the Trump administration laid sanctions against Hong Kong's leadership, including the chief executive Carrie Lam, after the territory suspended elections for a year and disqualified several pro-democracy candidates.