Causeway Bay Books owner confirms no Taipei store

Bookseller scraps plans to reopen controversial HK bookstore in Taipei after receiving intimidation

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Lam Wing-kee

Lam Wing-kee (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Former Hong Kong-based Causeway Bay Books manager Lam Wing-kee (林榮基) confirmed Aug. 7 that he will not reopen his bookstore in Taipei after all this year however he has potentially found new investors to help reopen the shop in Hong Kong.

Lam stated earlier this year that Causeway would reopen in Taipei's Ximen District however the plan was called off in June due to "red interference," according to Lam. Because the financing Causeway received to reopen in Hong Kong is inadequate, Lam confirmed that all reopening plans have been paused for now.

Lam stated that even though the future for Causeway may not look bright, there is no need to be pessimistic. "As long as we stand by our philosophies, Causeway Bay Books will open again," reported LTN.

When Lam was in Taipei last March, he recalled that two people, who claimed to work for an American and Canadian civil society group, told Lam that the name "Causeway Bay Books" was already registered in Taiwan and that if he continues his endeavor there will be copyright issues. Two people were said to have proposed to co-manage the store in Taipei, but he declined the offer. This confrontation was part of what Lam refers to as "red interference."

With the help of Taiwan friends and colleagues Lam had prepared the necessary documents to register the bookstore's name, open a Taiwan bank account, and other bureaucratic procedures, however after being intimidated Lam canceled the applications.