The National Immigration Agency said Thursday it had denied residency applications by China Star Entertainment chairman Charles Heung and his son Jackie, citing a law barring residency for HongKongers who raise “national welfare, public safety and order” concerns.
The agency declined to elaborate on the precise reason for the rejection, saying it was based on “overall considerations”.
However, multiple local media outlets reported that the Heungs were considered potential national security risks because of their close ties with Chinese authorities.
Heung senior applied for residency last year on grounds that his wife, Tiffany Chan, is Taiwanese.
Heung became a successful actor and producer during the golden age of Hong Kong cinema in the mid-80s and 90s when its film industry was a global powerhouse.
His entertainment group played a key role in building the careers of film stars such as Stephen Chow, Jet Li and Chow Yun Fat.
He and his family are vocally pro-Beijing and have been critical of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement.
Heung was among a group of entertainment figures who gave a cheque to the families of seven police officers who were convicted of beating a pro-democracy activist in 2014.
His wife publicly criticized the huge and often violent democracy protests that broke out in 2019.
Jackie Heung is also a national committee member of the All-China Youth Federation, which is linked to the Chinese Communist Youth League.
Taiwan has emerged as something of a sanctuary for Hong Kong’s beleaguered democracy protesters.
Beijing, which regards Taiwan as its own territory and has vowed to one day seize the island, loathes President Tsai Ing-wen.