An Apple Daily recruitment notice for a multimedia journalist has revealed Next Media’s plans to set up a US edition of the newspaper, a month after the company laid off 70 members of its staff.
In the recruitment notice on its website, Next Media, which owns Apple Daily, Next Magazine and Sharp Daily, introduced Apple Daily US as its “newest venture,” local media reported.
The advertisement also said that candidates should “have the flexibility to adapt to different working styles as the job develops” and “be willing to relocate to San Francisco.”
Li Ka-chung, a representative of Next Media Trade Union, said that most employees did not seem to be particularly alarmed by the recruitment notice posted by management. “Maybe the company has been continuously expanding its business in the North American market, like it’s doing with Tomo News,” he said.
Tomo News, a Next Media creation, is a Taipei-based news platform founded in 2007. It employs more than 500 creators and artists and is available in Chinese, English, Japanese and French.
Li admitted that this was the first time he had heard about the plans, but believed that the business in Hong Kong would not be greatly affected by its expansion to the US—especially given Jimmy Lai Chee-ying’s dedication to developing the online platform here.
“There are vacancies on the online side, and people are still getting hired. There is no intention to give up the Hong Kong business—not that I know of,” Li reportedly said.
Plans to hire Sze Mei-ling, a former TVB anchor now based in San Francisco, also came to light following the recruitment notice. It was reported that Sze will be in charge of Apple Daily US and Tomo News, building and expanding the digital platform in North America.
Ip Yut-kin, director of Next Media and CEO of Apple Daily, confirmed that the media company has approached Sze, but refused to divulge details, stating they were “trade secrets.”
In July, 70 employees were laid off by Next Media after it was announced that the entertainment magazine Sudden Weekly would cease publication. Jobs at the flagship Next Magazine were also cut.