The Hong Kong Morning News reportedly told its staff Monday to take unpaid amid speculation that the unlaunched newspaper will fold, Ming Pao Daily reported Tuesday.
Hong Kong Morning News news director Lau Wai-wai said an announcement will be made as soon as possible, but he refused to comment on rumors that investors have decided to pull the plug.
Kuai Che-yuan, director of the Hong Kong and Macau Development Strategy Research Centre, was widely believed to be the newspaper’s main backer but rumour has it that he was arrested Friday on the mainland. Lau said Kuai was only the referer to the actual investor.
The newspaper is thought to have hired 200 people, with some of them yet to start work. Several managers said they will help staff find jobs elsewhere, while sources from the newspaper’s human resources department said they will abide by the Employment Ordinance, the report said.
Apple Daily also reported that the Hong Kong Morning News will have until the end of the month to find new investors, or it will simply fold.
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