|A woman reads the Apple Daily in Taiwan last year|
I won’t bother to pitch this during the news meeting today, as my employer doesn’t give a rat’s ass, either because it fails to see the connections, or because — let’s be honest here — Jimmy Lai’s (黎智英) group is a direct competitor of the Liberty Times Group. Anyway, here it goes.
Exactly one week after suspects crashed a stolen car into Mr. Lai’s residence in Hong Kong, leaving an axe and a machete behind as a warning, reports are now emerging that early this morning, two men, armed with knives, stopped an Apple Daily delivery truck, ordered its occupants to step out of the vehicle, and proceeded to set it ablaze using lighters. Their act of arson completed, the perpetrators fled the scene, and soon thereafter firefighters were able to put the flames out before the truck — and its contents — were entirely destroyed.
As I wrote last week, the series of incidents targeting the owners of media outlets known for their criticism of Beijing (and therefore banned on the mainland) is a worrying trend, which has evident implications for the media environment in Taiwan.Yes, as some have observed, there is always the possibility that all of this is related to organized crime. But given how Beijing has cracked down on the media in recent months, there could very well be a connection.