House News contributors take to Facebook after shutdown

Local independent news agency House News shut down on Saturday but regular contributors and bloggers have decided to keep the spirit alive through a new Facebook page, whose Chinese name roughly translates into "House News Bloggers".

Created on Saturday, the fan page has garnered over 39,000 followers in just two days.

The new logo of the fan page plays on the old one:

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Regarding the shutdown, in a Chinese statement issued on the House News website on Saturday, House News founder Tony Tsoi said he first founded the news site to do his part for Hong Kong and aspired for House News to become a successful media business like Huffington Post in the US.

"But today, Hong Kong has changed and to be a normal media doing something for society is not easy.  You might even feel scared," Tsoi wrote.

"Lots of pan-democrats are being followed, their name smeared and their past overturned, there is an atmosphere of terror in society and I also feel this kind of pressure.  As someone who often goes to the mainland to do business, I have to admit that every time I cross the border, I feel scared.  But is it because I am too suspicious?  That feeling is not something you can clarify to strangers."

He adds that the pressure in society has affected his family and makes him increasingly worried every day.

Since House News was founded two years ago, it has been run as a small business.  But Tsoi says the site has not broken even.

"Some people ask me, 'Has House News seen advertisers pulling adverts?'  The answer is no - if they've never been placed, how do you take them away?  It's not just the core principles that are twisted in Hong Kong, the market is too," he wrote.

"In the end, I am just a regular person.  I have tried my best and this is as far as I can go."