Hong Kong newspaper to ax satirical cartoons after 40 years

Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao says it will scrap a long-running satirical cartoon strip from Sunday.

The territory's chief executive, lawmakers and police officers have been featured in the comic strip that was launched 40 years ago.

Ming Pao did not explain the decision in its announcement on Thursday, but the cartoons have been criticized by high-ranking government officials. The paper is said to have received six complaints in the past seven months.

Last October, a senior police official reportedly wrote to the paper, saying the cartoons had tarnished the image of the police and demanded that it take action.

The Hong Kong Journalists Association said in a statement the move could prompt journalists to impose stricter self-censorship to avoid criticism from the government.

A crackdown on dissent has intensified since Hong Kong introduced a national security law in 2020 to tackle anti-government movements.