The very last issue of pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily arrived in Macao late on Thursday afternoon after having sold out completely in its native Hong Kong.
Scores of people lined up to buy a copy. Candidate for the legislative elections Scott Chiang said he was surprised by the race to acquire the last number in Macao.
“I found it a bit surprising that people in Macao showed up for the latest issue of Apple Daily. I can only think that the newspaper has been ‘useful’ for Macao after all, at a time when the Hong Kong media has probably covered more Macao social events than our own press,” he noted, recalling a Chinese saying [“無事毒果，有事有事蘋果”] which means that “people hate apples until they need them one day”.
“That was true in Macao and the Apple Daily will be missed by some of us here.”
The lifetime of Hong Kong’s Apple Daily newspaper, which published its last issue yesterday, has finally come to an end. The last edition sold out in the early hours of the morning in Hong Kong and in the late afternoon in the Macao SAR. For a mere MOP 11, several people in the territory were able to take home a piece of history.
Thousands of people lined up in Hong Kong to buy the final edition of the newspaper which printed one million copies for its farewell. In Macao, hundreds of people lined up at some of the newsstands throughout the territory.
The Portuguese-newspaper Ponto Final was present at the newsstand at Largo do Senado and at another on Avenida Almeida Ribeiro, where hundreds of people were waiting patiently, but with some nervousness, for the arrival of the long-awaited last issue.
“It’s a shame we got to this. The Apple Daily was a newspaper that really made a difference and was an alternative in Hong Kong. Today is a very sad day,” said a young woman who was waiting in line.
The young woman was, roughly, in the 20th position of a queue that by 6:30 pm already held more than 60 people. “I hope I can buy a copy. It’s historic and it’s valuable,”, she added, while the owner of the newsstand warned customers that she would only provide one newspaper per person “so that everyone could have a souvenir copy”.
The front page of the final edition of the tabloid showed a newspaper employee waving to supporters, with the headline “Hong Kong residents make painful farewell in the rain: We support the Apple Daily”.
“And here in Macao we also support Apple Daily,” said one of the young people lined up waiting for a copy of the newspaper at the stand of Almeida Ribeiro.
Founded in 1995, Apple Daily was a staunch supporter of the pro-democracy movement and anti-government protests that rocked the territory in 2019. The daily’s owner, tycoon Jimmy Lai, is currently serving several months in prison for taking part in the demonstrations, and faces charges of “collusion with foreign forces”, allegedly for advocating sanctions against leaders in Beijing and Hong Kong.
The newspaper announced the end of operations on Wednesday after authorities had frozen assets worth HK$18 million dollars.