Next Digital

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Next Digital Limited
壹傳媒有限公司
TypePublic
SEHK282
IndustryMedia
Founded
HeadquartersHong Kong
Key people
Jimmy Lai, Founder
Ip Yut Kin, Chairman,
Cheung Kim Hung, chief executive officer
Ting Ka Yu, Stephen, COO and CFO
RevenueHK$146 million (as of 30 Sep 2020)
Number of employees
2,095 (as of 30 Sep 2020)
Websitenextdigital.com.tw
Next Digital
Traditional Chinese壹傳媒有限公司

Next Digital Limited (Chinese: 壹傳媒有限公司), previously known as Next Media Limited, founded by Jimmy Lai, has 2,095 employees (as of 30 Sep 2020) and is the largest listed media company in Hong Kong.

From 20 October 2015, the company has changed its English name to Next Digital Limited, from Next Media Limited.[1]

The media outlet has a user base of 5.0 million monthly unique visitors in Hong Kong, 12.3 million monthly unique visitors in Taiwan, 1.7 million in the USA and 399,0002 in Canada up till 2019.[2]

Apple Daily, the newspaper of the media group, is the most read newspaper in the city.[3]

Political position[edit]

The news media has often offered explicit, proactive support for pro-democracy groups in Hong Kong. The paper is regarded to hold libertarian views on financial and economic issues.

Controversy[edit]

The media group made an entrance into the industry by introducing tabloid-style journalism, along with making mainstream reporting (see middle-market newspaper), to Hong Kong as well as Taiwan. It was the first to use massive graphics, bold headlines and full colour pages now common to all best-selling papers in both regions. In earlier years, criticism was drawn for sensational articles found in an entertainment magazine under the media group. A notable scandal was aired in 2006 in relation to Gillian Chung, a member of singing group Twins, who was photographed changing clothes at the backstage from a concealed camera alleged to be put there by the paparazzi[citation needed]. The incident triggered debates over the ethics and regulations of paparazzi activities in Hong Kong.

Under a grim political climate, the news outlet’s intrepid political activism infuriated the Beijing regime.[4] Some companies with ties to China had refrained from putting advertisements on any publication of the media group due to the heightened political pressure exerted on the business bodies in the city.[5][6]

Next Media’s irreverent probe into sensitive social topics is what believed to be the reason of a triad-style vandalism targeted at the press offices,[7] followed by the forced shut-down in 2021.[8][9]

The news outlet’s distancing from the Beijing regime is also what gives the press a healthy boundary that allows for curb-free journalistic coverage and wins the support from the general public. A slew of news articles authored by journalists from Next Media had received recognition through news awards such as Human Rights Press Awards, Investigative Feature Writing, Excellence in Reporting on Women’s Issues, Hong Kong News Awards, Hong Kong Institute of Professional Photographers Awards, Excellence in Video Reporting, Spot News Photography Prizes, Chinese-Language Cartoon / Illustration Merit, Chinese-Language News Merits, etc.[10][circular reference][11][circular reference] On the day of shutdown, queues of citizens snapped up the total 1 million copies of Apple Daily’s last print,[12] marking a sensational end to the paper’s decades of journalism and a symbol of Hong Kong's media pluralism.[13][14]

Key people arrested[edit]

On 10th August 2020, Jimmy Lai, the founder of Next Digital, was arrested by the Hong Kong Police early morning that day for alleged collusion with foreign powers after a Beijing-led investigation. A post on Twitter from the media group's executive, Mark Simon, confirmed the arrest.[15] The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reported that “the arrest of media tycoon Jimmy Lai bears out the worst fears that Hong Kong’s National Security Law would be used to suppress critical pro-democracy opinion and restrict press freedom”. Steven Butler, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator, commented, “Jimmy Lai should be released at once and any charges dropped.”[16] The Hong Kong Police made arrest of seven people aged 39 to 72 who have been accused of violating the new security law. The arrestees included Jimmy Lai (Founder of Next Digital Limited), Cheung Kim Hung (CEO of Next Digital Limited), Chow Tat Kuen, Royston (Executive Director and CFO of Next Digital Limited).[17]

Hong Kong publications[edit]

Next Digital's headquarters in Tseung Kwan O.
  • Apple Daily – Formerly one of Hong Kong's largest circulation newspapers, which was published daily between 1995-2021.[18]
  • Next Magazine – Published on Wednesday evenings, one of Hong Kong's largest circulation news and entertainment magazines between 1990-2021.
  • Easy Finder – A teen-focused entertainment magazine.

Monday Book – A set of four magazines sold together for HK$12 on Monday mornings that are more thematically male and commercially focused.

  • Face – Gossip, entertainment and fashion
  • Ketchup – Gadgets, gaming and mobile
  • JobFinder – Jobs and recruitment magazine (sales assistant-level jobs)
  • AutoExpress – Used cars, auto insurance, dating advertisements, car license plates for sale.
  • Trading Express – Classified ads for products, small companies, second-hand watches.

Friday Book – A set of three magazines sold together for HK$12 on Friday mornings that are more thematically female and leisure-focused. At the end of 2008, Next Media relinquished its holding in these three magazines, whose editorial management since early 2009 has been tied to TVB Weekly (the official magazine of Television Broadcasts Limited and owned by a joint venture between Malaysian media conglomerate company Astro All Asia Networks plc (Astro) and Albert Yeung's Emperor Group).

  • Eat and Travel Weekly – Sold to Astro in November 2006.
  • Sudden Weekly – Women-oriented entertainment magazine. Sold to Astro in November 2006.
  • Me – A cosmetics and fashion magazine. Founded by Astro in December 2006.

Hong Kong websites[edit]

The Atnext.com network is the No. 1 online Chinese new, information and current events portal from Hong Kong and reaches more than 2 million users per month, audited by Neilsen//Netratings.[19]

Vertical/community portals In addition to original exclusive content and social networking tools, these sites aggregate content from all other sites.

  • Lady – Female-focused portal with strong community
  • Travel – Travel site
  • Education – education guide for students of all levels
  • Motor – Car vertical covering auto reviews and more
  • Life – lifestyle guide on everyday city living
  • Racing – a subscription-based horse racing guide focused on HK and Macau races (HK$1,888 per year)
  • Soccer – soccer fans' guide to everything soccer
  • Health – a vertical channel on medical and health

Taiwan publications[edit]

  • Apple Daily – Published daily, one of Taiwan's highest-circulation newspapers
  • Sharp Daily – A free daily newspaper
  • Next Magazine – Published on weekly, one of Taiwan's largest circulation news and entertainment magazines
  • Me (Taiwan version) – A weekly magazine

Structure of Next Media[edit]

The top management committee of the company is the Board. The Board is responsible for overseeing the successful of Next Media and devising the company's future strategy. The Board delegates the running of Next Media's day-to-day operations to carefully chosen Executive Directors and Senior Management. The Board looks to the Management to ensure it is apprised of all significant developments that may affect the company and its operations.

There are four committees established by the Board, granted for different kinds of duties.

  • Executive Directors: for the purpose of approving issues and allotment of shares
  • Audit Committee: mainly to assist the Board in its oversight of the integrity of the Company’s financial statements; the Company’s compliance with legal and regulatory requirements; the external auditor’s qualifications and independence; and the performance of the Company’s internal audit function and external auditors.
  • Remuneration Committee; to review and develop policies in relation to the remuneration of directors and senior management of the Company; to make recommendations to the Board from time to time as may be necessary in relation to such policies.
  • Ad hoc Sub-committee; made up of the financial heads of all major operation subsidiaries.

Senior leadership[edit]

Note: Senior leadership only reflects the structure since the Group's listing in 1999; previously, it was a private company with no formal structure

List of chairmen[edit]

  1. Jimmy Lai Chee-ying (1999–2014); executive chairman
  2. Cassian Cheung Ka-sing (interim Chairman 2014–2016); executive chairman
  3. Ip Yut-kin (2016–2018); non-executive chairman
  4. Jimmy Lai Chee-ying (2018–2020); second term; non-executive between 2018–2020; executive for part of 2020[20]
  5. Ip Yut-kin (2020–2021)[20]

List of chief executives[edit]

Note: The position of Chief Executive was not used during the years 2002–2006, as the then-Executive Chairman Jimmy Lai took on CEO responsibilities from his post

  1. Lim Tai-thong (2000)
  2. Pieter Lodewijk Schats (2001)
  3. Stephen Ting Ka-yu (2007)
  4. Jimmy Lai Chee-ying (2008)
  5. Chu Wah-hui (2008–2010)
  6. Chu Wah-hui and Cassian Cheung Ka-sing (2010–2011)
  7. Cassian Cheung Ka-sing (2011–2014; interim CEO 2014–2016)
  8. Cheung Kim-hung (2018–2021)

Subsidiaries[edit]

  • Apple Daily Limited
  • Apple Daily Online Limited
  • Apple Daily Printing Limited
  • Cameron Printing Company Limited
  • Database Gateway Limited
  • Easy Finder Limited
  • Easy Finder Hong Kong Marketing Limited
  • Easy Media Limited
  • Eat and Travel Weekly Company Limited
  • Next Media Animation Limited
  • Next Magazine Advertising Limited
  • Next Magazine Publishing Limited
  • Next Media Group Management Limited
  • Next Media Hong Kong/Publication Publishing Limited
  • Paramount Printing Company Limited
  • Rainbow Graphic & Printing Company Limited
  • Sudden Weekly Limited

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "CHANGE OF COMPANY NAME, CHANGE OF STOCK SHORT NAME, CHANGE OF COMPANY WEBSITE, FREE EXCHANGE OF SHARE CERTIFICATES AND ADOPTION OF NEW COMPANY LOGO" (PDF). NEXT DIGITAL. 26 October 2019. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  2. ^ https://www.nextdigital.com.hk/investor/download/e_282_AR_11%20July%202019.pdf.ee7b08dbb1af163215afb8a8638a6682
  3. ^ "The most widely-read Magazine and Newspaper in Hong Kong".
  4. ^ Myers, Steven Lee (5 September 2019). "In Hong Kong Protests, China Angrily Connects Dots Back to U.S." The New York Times.
  5. ^ Forsythe, Michael; Gough, Neil (11 June 2014). "Hong Kong Media Worries over China's Reach as Ads Disappear". The New York Times.
  6. ^ "Hong Kong Newspaper Says HSBC, Standard Chartered Pulled Ads". Wall Street Journal. 16 June 2014.
  7. ^ Garnaut, John (3 June 2014). "A Media Mogul, Alone on the Island". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 22 August 2021.
  8. ^ Ramzy, Austin (5 September 2021). "In Hong Kong, Jimmy Lai's Media Company Moves to Close Down". The New York Times.
  9. ^ "Jimmy Lai's Next Digital to Shut Down Amid Chinese Pressure". Bloomberg.com. 30 June 2021.
  10. ^ "List of awards won by Apple Daily".
  11. ^ "Next Magazine (Hong Kong and Taiwan)".
  12. ^ "Lights out: Hongkongers queue for hours to buy Apple Daily's final issue". 23 June 2021.
  13. ^ "Hong Kong Bids Emotional Farewell to Newspaper Shut by China". Bloomberg.com. 23 June 2021.
  14. ^ "China dismisses concern for Hong Kong freedom after tabloid closure". Reuters. 25 June 2021.
  15. ^ https://twitter.com/HKMarkSimon/status/1292600033473228800 - Via Twitter - Revieved on 10/08/2020 Tweet states: "Jimmy Lai is being arrested for collusion with foreign powers at this time."
  16. ^ "Hong Kong police arrest Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai under new National Security Law". Committee to Protect Journalists. 10 August 2020. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  17. ^ Net, Xinhua (10 August 2020). "Li Zhiying was arrested on suspicion of violating the Hong Kong National Security Law". Xinhua Net. Archived from the original on 10 August 2020. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  18. ^ May, Tiffany; Ramzy, Austin (12 August 2020). "'We Will Persevere': A Newspaper Faces the Weight of Hong Kong's Crackdown". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  19. ^ Welcome to Pixel Media – Asia's leading interactive media sales network
  20. ^ a b "RESIGNATION OF DIRECTOR AND CHANGE OF CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD" (PDF).

External links[edit]