Hong Kong Daily News shutters after 56 years

One of the oldest newspapers in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Daily News, has ceased publication after 56 years, bringing an end to the "staggering" financial losses the company had been suffering for years.

The Emperor Group-owned local newspaper, known for its horse racing pages, published its last edition on Saturday, a day before the horse racing season ends. The 32-page issue had two double-page spreads in the local news pages, one half-page ad in the entertainment pages, and two square ads in the racing and property pages respectively.

Around 130 employees were affected by the closure.

On an official statement said a shift in reading habits and the rise of digital had contributed to its demise.

"Circulation of traditional newspapers have been plummeting ever since the advent of free newspapers," the statement said.

"Coupled with the changing reading habits of newspaper readers, the situation has led Hong Kong Daily News into a long standing deficit despite repeated attempts to reform."

The Chinese-language newspaper was founded in 1959 and purchased by the Emperor Group in 1992 with a significant presence in Hong Kong's newspaper scene.

Peter Kuo, publisher of Hong Kong Daily News, admitted that running a newspaper was a difficult business.

Kuo described the financial losses the company had been suffering for years as "staggering" in the face of rising competition from free newspapers, as well as changing local tastes from print newspaper to online news media.

The elimination of print media in Hong Kong seems virtually unavoidable with big circulation drops even for many well-regarded newspapers.

The Hong Kong Daily News is the second newspaper to fold since the short-lived Sharp Daily business ceased in 2013.