Who is Jimmy Lai? The self-made millionaire arrested on illegal assembly charges in Hong Kong

Millionaire and pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai got arrested

Hong Kong's high profile entrepreneur, founder of Apple Daily newspaper Jimmy Lai has been arrested by police on Friday and charged with illegal assembly and intimidation.

Mr Lai has been accused of attending the banned anti-government march on August 31. Hong Kong saw one of its worst protests between police and the pro-democracy protestors as the officials were firing tear gas and water cannons at the revolters who threw petrol bombs in response. Authorities in Hong Kong arrested more than 7,000 people due to their involvement in the protest. Anger among the public of Hong Kong is growing due to China tightening its grip over the city.

Two other pro-democracy politicians Lee Cheuk-yan and Yeung Sum were arrested on the same charges. All three men will be called to Eastern Magistrate Court on May 5.

Who is Jimmy Lai?

Jimmy Lai
Jimmy Lai Wikimedia Commons

Jimmy Lai, 71, is known for publishing anti-government articles in Apple daily newspaper. He was estimated to be worth $660 million by Forbes in 2009. Lai was previously arrested in 2014 for refusing to leave the pro-democracy protests in the centre of the city. Following his arrest, he resigned as editor-in-chief of Apple daily newspaper. Lai is now the non-executive chairman of the newspaper. US Senator, Josh Hawley says that the arrest of Jimmy Lai in Hong Kong is a transparent attempt to silence pro-democracy voices.

Hong Kong Democracy Council, a Washington based non- government organization, said on Friday that the arrests were "blatant acts of political suppression by the Hong Kong government and the Chinese Communist Party".