Why did Alibaba acquire SCMP?

By Wu Jin
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, December 18, 2015
Adjust font size:

South China Morning Post (SCMP). [File photo]

The acquisition of the South China Morning Post (SCMP) by Alibaba at a price of US$ 266 million last Friday was a bold move for Jack Ma, the billionaire owner of Alibaba, to help build a good environment for the Internet giant's globalization drive and make voices of Chinese companies heard, the People's Daily reported.

Over its expansion strategies, Alibaba is confronting huge criticism as the media outlets, such as Forbes, accused the enterprise of building an empire on considerable counterfeits.

Driven by stereotyped ideological mindsets, Western countries will hardly approve of Chinese investment in their media, the People's Daily reported.

Therefore, Ma chose the SCMP, a newspaper with a history dating back to 1903 in Hong Kong, as it's a window through which the connection of China and the world was built.

According to Cai Chongxin, executive vice president of Alibaba, despite the Alibaba's listing in the United States, some people in the overseas market still have little knowledge about it as well as the country it comes from.

The buyout of the SCMP, the largest English newspaper in Hong Kong, in consideration of its circulation, is an attempt to help overseas readers better understand China and Alibaba, Cai said.

In his letter to the readers of the SCMP, Cai said, the mellowed and profound journalistic values of the SCMP will be presented through cutting edge digital platforms created by Alibaba, therefore, the content of the newspaper can reach a wider readership.

Unable to ride the wave of digital innovation in the past few years, the SCMP has been struggling with its declining circulation, much likely as a result of the diminishing investment from its former owner Robert Kuok, a prominent entrepreneur from Malaysia, and the exodus of experienced reporters.

However, according to Cai, the newspaper will maintain its public credibility with an affluent provision of news and analysis in and beyond Hong Kong after the takeover.

The editorial board will be given enough independence to preserve objectivity, balance and justice, Alibaba promised. The newspaper will also join debates with overseas media when their reports distort the image of China.

A SCMP reporter said in an interview with The Voice of Germany, that the staff is little affected by the acquisition and there are still many good reports coming out every day.

Follow China.org.cn on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter