20 October 2018
A counterfeit version of Apple Daily had its own Weibo account. Photo: Weibo
A counterfeit version of Apple Daily had its own Weibo account. Photo: Weibo

Bad news for rotten Apple Daily knockoff

As knockoffs go, it was a rotten Apple Daily — and now it’s offline. 

A counterfeit mainland version of the pro-democracy tabloid, which until Wednesday sported the name and logo of the genuine product, was no longer available online by Thursday. 

The only message for readers logging on to the site was: “This account has been suspended. Either the domain has been overused, or the reseller ran out of resources.” 

The mainland site had styled itself as the top media in China, telling readers that they no longer had to jailbreak the system to read Apple Daily, a publication banned on the mainland. 

But apart from the name and the logo, there was little to tie the fake from its namesake — the content and design are totally different. 

Apple Daily (Taiwan) president Eric Chen said the mainland version should have also copied the publication’s pro-democracy news, Apple Daily reported Thursday.

Video staff at Apple Daily’s Hong Kong office dismissed the mainland website as not serious, but some netizens took the copycats to task for flouting “civilized rules”, it said.

Besides the website, the fake Apple Daily had opened a Weibo account in Next Media’s Chinese name, albeit with a variation in one character. The page had attracted fewer than 100 followers and the earliest entry was one on March 23 about the Taiwan student movement against the cross-strait service pact.

Feeds were deleted regularly, including ones on human rights in Guangdong and opposition to the construction of a chemical factory, the report said.

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