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Photo: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai, a pro-democracy activist and critic of the Chinese Communist Party, has been charged on suspicion of "colluding with foreign forces" under Hong Kong's national security law, AP reports.

Why it matters: It's the most high-profile application yet of the draconian new law, which was brought into force over the summer as part of Beijing's crackdown on the city's pro-democracy movement.

The big picture: The 73-year-old founder of Hong Kong's Apple Daily tabloid will appear in court on Saturday and could face a maximum sentence of life in prison. He was arrested and denied bail earlier this month on allegations of fraud.

  • Lai has pushed for other countries to punish China for its abuses and met with Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the U.S. last year to discuss Hong Kong's proposed extradition bill, which was later withdrawn after it sparked mass protests and unrest.
  • Apple Daily described the national security law on July 1 as the “final nail in the coffin” for Hong Kong's autonomy.

Background: The national security law includes sweeping definitions of crimes and penalties that gives Hong Kong's government broad power to limit people's political freedom, while explicitly denying any kind of independent oversight of the law or how it is carried out.

Go deeper: China's iron curtain descends on Hong Kong

Go deeper

China sanctions top Trump alumni one day after Uyghur genocide determination

Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

China's Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday it would sanction 28 "anti-China" U.S. politicians, including a slew of top officials from the outgoing Trump administration such as former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former national security adviser John Bolton and former chief strategist Steve Bannon.

Between the lines, via Axios China expert Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian: Chinese government officials have traditionally decried the use of unilateral sanctions by Western countries, even though China regularly blocks foreign companies and individuals from its markets for perceived political slights.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
10 mins ago - World

Merkel's departure could bring influx of private investment

Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party chairman and candidate for the federal elections, Armin Laschet, in front of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Sept. 26. Photo: Clemens Bilan - Pool/Getty Images

Angela Merkel's departure from German government may result in a massive influx of private investment.

Driving the news: The center-left Social Democratic Party, led by chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz, clinched a narrow victory in Germany's federal elections. It now will seek to form a coalition government by year-end with the Greens and the Free Democrats.

Instagram pauses development of platform for kids

Photo: Lorenzo Di Cola/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Instagram announced Monday that it is pausing its plans to develop a version of its platform for children under 13.

Why it matters: Facebook has received backlash since the Wall Street Journal published a report that showed the company knew its Instagram app is harmful for teenagers.