The largest Chinese company Alibaba Group announced the acquisition of the largest English-language printed edition in Hong Kong – South China Morning Post (SCMP). The agreement between two large companies estimated at $ 266 million. Representatves of companies told about the agreement on December 14, 2015. All details of the agreement are kept in a secret for now.
This purchase is made at precisely the same time as the newspaper began to be attacked by the authorities in Hong Kong, pressure on journalists and attempts to tighten censorship. Western critics fear that after the transaction, South China Morning Post will cease to cover the events objectively.
In response, in a letter to readers of the newspaper, the vice president of Alibaba Joe Tsai promised that the publication will describe the events independently and objectively, and chided the Western media of the biased attitude to China, when they said that now the newspaper will see events “in a different way”.
South China Morning Post is one of the oldest newspapers in Hong Kong – the first publications were printed in 1903. Negotiations over the purchase of the newspaper between the companies began in November 2015.
The market value of SCMP is about $ 392 million. The SCMP has a license to produce the Hong Kong version of glossy magazines Esquire, Elle, Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Bazaar. The reasons of buying the publication for Alibaba are: to raise the ratings of Alibaba, and it will be the beginning of the creation of a new media company, that will be called CMC Holdings.
Alibaba Group (established in 1999) is the largest Internet company, its main activities are trade transactions between the two companies under the scheme B2B, retail online trading. In 2012, sales at the two portals of Alibaba Group amounted to 1.1 trillion yuan ($ 170 billion).
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