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Response to the Liquidation of Hong Kong's Next Media

  • Date:2021-12-15

1. Since the enactment of the Hong Kong National Security Law, related parts have extensively cited the law in the arrest of pro-democracy and social activists in Hong Kong. They continue to infringe on the Hong Kong people's freedoms and rights in the areas of the media, speech, and the press in disregard of the people's rights. Their actions are seriously concerned by the international community and are rejected by public opinion both at home and abroad.

2. The public and civil organizations have stated that the insistence of related parties in Hong Kong on freezing the assets and forcing liquidation of Hong Kong's Next Media not only harmed original shareholder equity but could lead to the misuse of personal information of Taiwan Apple Daily employees and the company's news database. This could put Taiwanese employees and related personnel of the company at risk of prosecution. It also raises concerns over infringement of personal information and privacy. The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) stressed that personal liberty, freedom of speech, and protection of personal privacy are basic rights of the people guaranteed by the Constitution. This applies especially to the protection of personal information. All personal data collected by news media enterprises for the specific purpose of reporting should be handled and used in strict compliance with legal restrictions to prevent leakage or illegal misuse of such information. If the specific purpose of collecting the data no longer applies, the law requires that the information be deleted or be suspended of handling or use.

3. The government continues to closely watch developments in the liquidation of Next Media and to safeguard in advance the personal information and privacy of Taiwanese nationals. If related parties use this opportunity in a backdoor attempt to violate freedom and human rights in Taiwan, related agencies will take necessary actions in accordance with the law to protect the rights of the people and the public interest.