Arab Today, arab today alibaba to pay 266m for hong kongs scmp newspaper
Last Updated : GMT 22:20:05
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Far higher than analysts' estimates

Alibaba to pay $266m for Hong Kong's SCMP newspaper

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Alibaba to pay $266m for Hong Kong's SCMP newspaper

Once globally renowned English-language South China Morning Post paper
Hong Kong - Arab Today

Chinese internet giant Alibaba will pay US$266 million for Hong Kong's South China Morning Post, the newspaper said Monday, far higher than analysts' estimates in a deal that has sparked fears the paper will lose its independent voice.

The business had been valued at half that amount, and some observers said the hefty price tag reflects Alibaba's desire to control media in the semi-autonomous territory.

The deal comes as concern over press freedom grows after attacks on journalists, reports of pressure on editorial staff from authorities and increasing self-censorship.

Alibaba "has agreed to purchase the media business of the (SCMP) Group for a cash consideration of HK$2,060,600,000", the newspaper said in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The group also owns the Hong Kong editions of magazines Esquire, Elle, Cosmopolitan and Harper's Bazaar
The Chinese firm announced the purchase on Friday, saying it would use its "digital expertise" to provide "comprehensive and insightful news and analysis of the big stories in Hong Kong and China".

In a letter to the newspaper's readers following the announcement of the sale, Alibaba executive vice chairman Joe Tsai vowed the SCMP would be "objective, accurate and fair".

However, in an interview published on the paper's website, Tsai accused western media of bias against China, saying that Alibaba would "see things differently".

Francis Lun, chief executive of Hong Kong brokerage GEO Securities, said the inflated price handed to the paper's Malaysian owner, tycoon Robert Kuok who bought a controlling stake in 1993, reflected a political motivation.

"Mr Kuok really hit the jackpot because certainly they overpaid for it... the outlook is grim for a newspaper," Lun told AFP.

"If your purpose is trying to control the local media, it has its value. The actual economic benefit is doubtful," he said, echoing views that Ma's close ties with Beijing will inevitably affect coverage and promote a China-centric view.
Analyst Jackson Wong agreed the sale was "very expensive" but said Ma had splashed out in order to capitalise on the SCMP brand and online presence as Alibaba extends its reach in the region where it is on a buying spree.

"It would be extremely difficult for a new media company to establish the name," said Wong from Simsen Financial Group.

"Alibaba has not only made investments in e-commerce… they have been buying different kinds of companies," he said, adding that the SCMP could help Ma "broaden his business reach in various aspects in Asia Pacific".

- Reader mistrust -

The once globally renowned English-language paper was founded in 1903 and has long given international readers an insider's perspective on Hong Kong and the mainland, but profits and sales have in recent years been hit by an industry-wide decline.

Though it has a relatively small readership, with around 104,000 print and digital subscribers by the end of 2014, it retained an outsize influence for its coverage of the mainland and willingness to broach controversial topics such as the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing.

But readers' trust has dipped over a more pro-Beijing editorial policy, a shift which took place after Kuok took control.

Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch had taken the SCMP private in 1987.

Hong Kong is semi-autonomous after being handed back to China by Britain in 1997 and retains freedoms unseen on the mainland, but there are fears those are being eroded.

Ma is not the only internet tycoon to venture into traditional print media -- Amazon founder Jeff Bezos bought the respected Washington Post two years ago, vowing to revitalise the loss-making newspaper through digital expansion.

Some say the SCMP could prosper from the same Midas touch.

Ma launched Alibaba in 1999 and under his stewardship it has become China's biggest e-commerce company, operating consumer-to-consumer platform Taobao, which is estimated to hold more than 90 percent of the mainland market.

It has also branched out, buying ChinaVision Media in 2014 and renaming it Alibaba Pictures, today China's biggest film company, which produced this year's blockbuster "Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation"
Source: AFP

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today alibaba to pay 266m for hong kongs scmp newspaper Arab Today, arab today alibaba to pay 266m for hong kongs scmp newspaper

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Accessories designer reveals her new collection

GMT 18:57 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Accessories designer reveals her new collection
Arab Today, arab today Laptop ban sparks ire

GMT 09:02 2017 Thursday ,23 March

Laptop ban sparks ire
Arab Today, arab today Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career

GMT 06:07 2017 Monday ,27 February

Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career
Arab Today, arab today Dozens dead in US-led Syria strikes

GMT 08:35 2017 Thursday ,23 March

Dozens dead in US-led Syria strikes
Arab Today, arab today AT&T, Verizon join Google ad boycott

GMT 10:30 2017 Thursday ,23 March

AT&T, Verizon join Google ad boycott
View News in Arabic - Media: وسائل الإعلام أخبار
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Yemeni official warns education is under threat

GMT 12:03 2017 Tuesday ,14 March

Yemeni official warns education is under threat
Arab Today, arab today Number of unwedded girls amounts to 2.5m

GMT 22:00 2017 Thursday ,23 March

Number of unwedded girls amounts to 2.5m
Arab Today, arab today 2017 already marked

GMT 15:25 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

2017 already marked
Arab Today, arab today Prepares to give stargazers an eyeful

GMT 13:38 2017 Monday ,06 March

Prepares to give stargazers an eyeful
Arab Today, arab today Audi RS 5 Coupe acquires new design

GMT 13:22 2017 Thursday ,23 March

Audi RS 5 Coupe acquires new design
Arab Today, arab today Renault Trezor wins design award

GMT 11:56 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Renault Trezor wins design award
Arab Today, arab today Donia Abdel Aziz participates in "Game of Silence"

GMT 07:12 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Donia Abdel Aziz participates in "Game of Silence"
Arab Today, arab today Mexico threatens to ditch US corn imports

GMT 10:34 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Mexico threatens to ditch US corn imports

GMT 07:39 2017 Monday ,20 March

Dalia Mustafa believes in the presence of ghosts

GMT 19:27 2017 Saturday ,11 March

Boualsof launches "Priestess Kahina" collection

GMT 16:41 2017 Monday ,20 March

Preserving the memory of glaciers

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 13:11 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Web-based counseling lowers blood pressure

GMT 10:18 2017 Tuesday ,21 March

Kuwait's tourism industry to be worth

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 22:39 2017 Thursday ,09 March

Zuhair Murad presents his new collection "Resorts"
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday