WANG | On China, on Hong Kong, on Us
Hong Kong businessman Jimmy Lai plays with fire in the same bored manner I play with my hair. Lai, who has been everywhere recently, has been at the heart of anti-Chinese protests that have consumed Hong Kong in the past few months and has emerged as a vocal figure in its surge to democracy. He has supported anti-government initiatives, called out Xi-Jinping as a dictator and refused to submit when other business leaders have gravitated to the pull of Beijing. He’s his own man and his own empire: He’s a majority owner of NextDigital, a company that publishes reporting critical of China, and if that wasn’t enough, he publishes a weekly column to support protestors as the crisis has gone from mild to middling to full blown seismic. For their part, the Chinese government, so incensed by him, struck out his name in his family records, leaving him a man with no name but plenty of positive press.