Taiwan arrests three for attack on bookseller Lam Wing-kee

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Three men were arrested Wednesday by police in Kaohsiung for their alleged involvement in an attack on a Hong Kong bookseller in Taipei the previous day.

Lam Wing-kee, founder of Hong Kong's Causeway Bay Books, who fled to Taiwan amid fears of Chinese persecution, had red paint thrown on him Tuesday morning by a man at a coffee shop in Taipei's Zhongshan District, just days before he is set to open a new bookshop in the city on Saturday, CNA reports

Lam, who immediately notified the police, said the man fled the scene on foot, adding that he believed the attack was related to the opening of the new bookstore.

Early today, police arrested two suspects; one, 27, for carrying out the attack and a second man, 51, who is believed to have instructed the first man to attack Lam. A third suspect was apprehended later that day.

The three men, all residents of Kaohsiung, came to Taipei on Monday the day before the attack, which police believe was premeditated.

The incident occurred one day after Lam received a letter from a lawyer representing a bookstore in New Taipei registered under a similar trade name in Chinese, which warned him to stop using that name in Taiwan.

The company accused Lam of registering a similar name to compete unfairly in the same line of business, while also infringing on its existing trademark, he previously told CNA.

The Hong Kong bookseller said his store, originally located in the territory's Causeway Bay, has since been forcibly closed by the authorities.

"I didn't expect them to register and open another fake store in Taiwan," he said, implying the competitor is a front for the Chinese authorities.

According to the Department of Commerce's business registry website, the New Taipei store is represented by a man named Chiang Tung-chan  with capital investment of NT$50,000 (US$1,666).

The company, which does not have an English name, was registered on March 3 in Zhonghe District, the data showed.

Meanwhile, Lam's store was officially registered on March 31, with the English name "Causeway Bay Books LTD.," and a Chinese name that is almost identical to the one in New Taipei, except that it has the characters "Zhongshan" at the front of the registered name.

Lam earlier said his lawyer is dealing with the matter, and he still plans to open the store in Taipei on April 25 as scheduled.