This episode contains strong language.
Jimmy Lai was born in mainland China but made his fortune in Hong Kong, starting as an exploitative workshop worker and becoming a clothing mogul. After the Tiananmen Massacre in 1989, he turned his attention to the media, making publications critical of the Chinese Communist Party.
“I believe in the media,” he told Austin Ramsey, a Hong Kong reporter for the New York Times. “By presenting information, you are actually offering freedom.”
In August, he was arrested under the new Hong Kong National Security Act sponsored by Beijing.
Today, we are talking to Mr. Lai about his life, arrest, and campaign for democracy in the face of China’s growing power.
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Austin Ramsey and Tiffany May contributed to the report.
The Daily by Theo Balcombe, Andy Mills, Lisa Tobin, Rachel Quester, Lynsey Garrison, Annie Brown, Claire Tunescoter, Paige Cowet, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Larissa Anderson, Wendy Dor, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Lee Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Mark George, Luke Vander Pluij, Kelly Prime, Julia Longoria, Sindhu Jinanasambandan, MG Davis Lynn, Austin Mitchell, Nina Patak, Dan Powell, Dave Shaw, Sydney Harper, Daniel Gillemet Hans Poetto, Robert Jamison, Mike Benoist, Bianca Jiaever, Liz O. Palin, Asta Chaturvedi, and Rachel Bunia. Our music is composed by Jim Brunberg and Wonderly’s Ben Landsverk. Special thanks to Sam Dolnik, Michaela Bouchard, Lauren Jackson, Julia Simon, Mahima Sheblani, Nora Keeler, Sophia Milan and Desiree Ipiqui.