Alibaba Group acquire South China Morning Post, leading to independence concerns

Alibaba Group acquire South China Morning Post, leading to independence concerns

Chinese internet giant Alibaba Group have agreed to acquire Hong Kong’s English-language paper the South China Morning Post, in a deal worth $266 million.

Like most written publications, the newspaper has been suffering from falling circulation as it tries to adapt to the growing online market, and SCMG Group have said that they hope the sale to Alibaba will “unlock greater value” from the paper.

However, there have been concerns over the future of the paper’s editorial independence; The South China Morning Post has a reputation for reporting on issues censored by mainland China, and Alibaba group’s close connections with Beijing have been brought into question. Alibaba’s Executive Vice Chairman Joe Tsai dismissed suggestions Alibaba would compromise the newspaper’s editorial independence, but said the world needed “a plurality of views when it comes to China coverage”, and adding that Alibaba purely aimed to utilise technology expertise to develop the paper.

14/12/2015