Hong Konger Lam Wing-kee (林榮基) raised nearly NT$6 million (US$197,368) through a fundraising site over a two-month period to finance the opening of Causeway Bay Books in Taiwan, more than double his initial target.
Lam, when launching the “Causeway Bay Books — Reopen in Taiwan — Open for Free Souls” event on the online crowdfunding platform FlyingV on Sept. 5, aimed to raise NT$2.8 million, but the campaign ended on Monday with NT$5.97 million raised from 2,900 donors.
He has found a great location with reasonable rent, Lam said on Tuesday, but he needs time and money to remodel the space.
Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Taipei Times
The contract with FlyingV stipulates that he open the store within a month of the end of the campaign, he added.
Lam called the bookstore a project advanced by Taiwanese and Hong Kong netizens, saying that he is just the custodian of Causeway Bay Books in Taiwan.
The bookstore would be “a public space for everyone,” he said.
Causeway Bay Books was located in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay, but Lam and four others linked to it and its publishing house disappeared at the end of 2015 into Chinese custody for selling books critical of China’s leaders.
In June 2016, Lam was released on bail and allowed to return to Hong Kong to retrieve a hard drive listing bookstore customers, but he jumped bail instead and went public about how Chinese police detained him as he crossed the border into Shenzhen, blindfolded him and interrogated him for months.
In late April, Lam fled to Taiwan, concerned that he would be extradited to China under a proposed extradition bill, he told reporters.
The bill has since been scrapped in the wake of mass protests that have developed into a movement calling for full democracy in Hong Kong.
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