In the early days of Apple Daily, it was regarded as one of the most popular newspapers in Hong Kong, with its clear standpoint of being against HK government. It was classified by leftists in Hong Kong as anti-China and anti-government, and its reporters are still often banned from doing interviews in Mainland China. However, there are several reasons why it is a less popular newspaper in recent years.
In July 2000, when Apple Daily Online was launched, its eye-catching presentation, sensational stories and gruesome pictures of dead people drove readers away. The newspaper also carried pornographic material and provided reviews of places of prostitution. Keen competition from rival Oriental Daily also diminished the market share of Apple Daily. Because of their similar reporting styles, readers usually regard them as substitutes for each other.
Nevertheless, Apple Daily remains one of the Chinese newspapers with highest circulation for several reasons.