As one of Beijing’s most high-profile and unrestrained critics, millionaire mogul Jimmy Lai long predicted the Chinese Communist Party would come after him.
Mr Lai, 73, arrived in Hong Kong in the 1960s as a 13-year-old refugee from Guangzhou in the Chinese mainland, before making his fortune in the clothing industry.
But after founding the Next Digital media group, and its unashamedly pro-democratic tabloid Apple Daily, his writings and publications openly criticised the Chinese leadership and he quickly became a thorn in Beijing’s side.
Mr Lai, a British citizen and resident of Taiwan, is estimated to be worth more than $1bn (£766m), but despite his nationality and fortune he remained defiant as the Chinese government tightened its squeeze on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement this year, vowing not to abandon fellow activists.
In an interview in July he told the Telegraph that he was at risk from a draconian new national security that China suddenly introduced to prohibit secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign collusion. It can impose life sentences for those caught breaking it.
He described the law as the “death of Hong Kong,” warning that China’s long term plan was to “control and subdue” the city.
“If I leave I would disgrace myself and undermine the democratic movement. I would be a fool to leave. I will be here in Hong Kong until the last day,” he said.
Although cast as a traitor by China, he is viewed by many in Hong Kong as a hero.
In August, tens of thousands tuned in to a livestream as hundreds of police officers raided the Apple Daily headquarters and arrested Mr Lai and some of his executives.
He was accused of "colluding with foreign forces" under the new national security law and released on bail.
He has so far not been charged for alleged national security breaches, but he told the Telegraph he was aware that he could be. “People like me who have met so many politicians, like Pompeo, Pence - if the law is retroactive - I will be in hell, “ he said.
Mr Lai has faced several prosecutions even before the new law, including intimidating a reporter from a rival pro-government newspaper and of making political donations to pro-democracy supporters. He was cleared of both.
But he revealed that he was being harassed on multiple levels.
“They send cars to follow me, intimidate me, they have people telling me it’s not just prison for life, I can be shot also,” he said.
“Apple Daily is opposition media for 30 years. But I have decided not to worry about it. Whatever happens, we will have to face it,” Mr Lai said.
The national security law had greatly damaged the democratic movement, but “we have to stand firm and be prepared to go to prison,” he added.
“I cannot back down. I’ve had a wonderful life and it’s clear to me your life isn’t about yourself."