71-year-old Lai, who is the controlling shareholder of the firm, is the highest-profile person to be arrested along with other pro-democracy activists and people in the media. The office of his Apple Daily newspaper were raided on Monday over allegations of collusion with foreign forces.
Lai’s firm is known to be one of the only remaining defenders of media freedom in the Chinese-ruled city.
The stock’s record gain symbolizes how Hong Kong’s activists are using different methods of protest against the national security law that undermines the city’s freedoms.
Demonstrating further solidarity, Lai’s supporters reportedly lined up to purchase copies of his firm’s leading newspaper Apple Daily Hong Kong. The outlet said it decided to increase printing of copies to 550,000 from 70,000 on an “overwhelming response” from readers.
His arrest “bears out the worst fears that Hong Kong’s National Security Law would be used to suppress critical pro-democracy opinion and restrict press freedom,” said Steven Butler, the Committee to Protect Journalists’ Asia programme coordinator.
“Jimmy Lai should be released at once and any charges dropped.”