Facebook Twitter 新浪微博 google plus Instagram YouTube Wednesday 25 November 2015

Alibaba's Ma in discussions to buy SCMP stake: media

By Yuan Can (People's Daily Online)    13:37, November 25, 2015

(File photo)

Founder and Chairman of China's Internet giant Alibaba group Jack Ma is in talks to buy a stake in the publisher of Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post (SCMP), according to a news report on Fortune.com.

Discussions are at an advanced stage, according to a report by Bloomberg. The report also said that a signing ceremony will be announced soon. Financial details of the deal weren’t available.

Both Alibaba and the newspaper declined to comment on this issue. According the Bloomberg report, when asked whether Ma has interested in buying the SCMP, he said in an interview this month that he’s "watching a lot of companies right now." Bloomberg also said that its attempts to reach Kuok’s group that owns the SCMP were unsuccessful.

Some said that if Ma successfully bought SCMP, he would be following in the footsteps of Amazon.com Inc.’s Jeff Bezos -- who bought the Washington Post in 2013 with $250 million, according to a report by China National Radio (CNR). Chris Hughes, one of the co-founders of Facebook Inc., bought a majority stake in the New Republic magazine in 2012.

Some staff members from Washington Post and its readers were initially taken aback by the Bezos acquisition, but since the purchase, the paper has improved its financial health and has even expanded its online presence, in part through deals that bundled access to the paper with Amazon Prime memberships.

A report on a professional financial information platform in China said that Alibaba group has been strengthening its investment in media in the past two years.

Alibaba and its member enterprises will benefit from the purchase because Alibaba and the paper can better cooperate on advertising and market promotion, according to the report on CNR.

SCMP has experienced years of profit and subscription declines. In the recent half year, 35 staff members including the chief editor has left the newspaper. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Yuan Can,Wu Chengliang)

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