Next Media, publisher of Next Magazine and the scandal-crazy Apple Daily, was reported by Forbes on April 7th to be considering selling its operations in Taiwan for a low $500 million. The Hong Kong based company founded by Jimmy Lai, known for his blistering critiques of Beijing, has become one of the largest Chinese language media companies in the world; by far the largest media company in Hong Kong.
Largely due to financial difficulties in the animated TV division, Next Media has lost over a third of its share value. According to The Taipei Times, Lai has been advised to sell the entire Taiwan division to promote more buyers and a higher selling price, despite his original plans to shed only the money-losing animation department.
The company’s animated TV division is recognized for its humorous parodies of current events and is considered a staunch promoter of freedom of speech within Taiwan. Few in Beijing, therefore, would be opposed to the impending sale if the new owner were of a quieter kind.
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