In a statement on its verified Facebook page, the publication said it produced 550,000 copies on Tuesday – out of its normal circulation of about 70,000. In a post Monday, she urged people in Hong Kong to buy paper and show their support, a message that has apparently been heard by many people who have been seen getting ready for copy.
On Tuesday, on the front page of the newspaper there was an image of Lai being arrested, and the headline: “Apple Daily must maintain its operations.” He also included a statement, which said the newspaper condemned – and was “deeply angry” – for police operations.
Next Digital, the newspaper’s parent company, also vowed to “fight on”.
“Hong Kong press freedom now depends on a thread,” she said in a statement. “Apple Daily staff will remain fearless and will continue to speak the truth amid the persecution.”
Police said in a statement Monday that officials from its newly created National Security Department had conducted the search operation following an “in-depth investigation”, and with an order issued by a magistrate.
The people arrested were suspected of “collaborating” with foreign forces to endanger national security and “conspiracy to defraud”, police said in a statement.
Authorities noted that the investigation was ongoing and that more arrests could be made.
A spokesman for China’s Hong Kong and Macao China Bureau, which is headed by the country’s State Council, also spoke out on the issue Monday, saying it “strongly supports” the arrests of Jimmy Lai and others who were arrested.
“People who clashed with foreign forces to endanger national security should be severely punished according to the law,” the representative said in a statement.
The arrest has raised concerns about the future of Hong Kong media.
“A month or two ago, no one could have imagined that in Hong Kong, media organizations could be sought after like this,” Hong Kong Journalists Association President Chris Yeung said on Monday.
“We never thought this could happen in Hong Kong,” he added. “This is very sad.”
The Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in Hong Kong criticized the FCC, accusing it of “tarnishing” the local police force.
The office accused the organization of trying to “whitewash and justify Jimmy Lai and other criminal suspects.”
“Lawmakers will be held accountable and no one can be above the law,” the office said Tuesday.
Correction: An earlier version of this report incorrectly attributed a statement from the Office of the Foreign Minister of China in Hong Kong to another agency.
– Vanesse Chan and James Griffiths contributed to this report.