The disappearance of a fifth man involved with a Hong Kong firm that publishes books banned in mainland China appears to have had a chilling effect on at least one bookstore chain in the city.
Banned books, many of them critical of China’s leaders and purporting to reveal secrets of their personal lives, are among the favorite souvenirs from Hong Kong for visitors from the mainland.
The Singapore-based bookstore chain Page One used to carry some of these books in Hong Kong.
They included several published by Mighty Current Media Co., five of whose executives and managers have gone missing one after another since October, the latest just last week.
Page One, which owns seven branches in Hong Kong and four in Beijing, has suddenly pulled such books from its airport outlets’ shelves, Apple Daily reported Wednesday.
A visitor from the mainland said an employee at a Page One store at Hong Kong International Airport told him he could buy them instead from the Relay bookstore operated at the airport by a French company.
Another employee of Page One confirmed that the firm had decided to stop selling all banned books, without giving an explanation. The company declined to comment.
Apple Daily reporters discovered that some books about Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping are still to be found on shelves at Page One’s Tsim Sha Tsui’s branch, but “sensitive” books about the current leaders in Beijing, including President Xi Jinping, are conspicuous by their absence.
– Contact us at [email protected]