Internet giant Alibaba says it has entered into a definite agreement to acquire the South China Morning Post and other media assets of SCMP Group Limited.
The financial terms of the transaction were not immediately disclosed as part of Friday’s announcement, which followed media reports that Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma was in talks to buy a stake in the publisher of the South China Morning Post.
“The South China Morning Post is unique because it focuses on coverage of China in the English language. This is a proposition that is in high demand by readers around the world who care to understand the world’s second largest economy,” said Joe Tsai, executive vice chairman of Alibaba Group. “Our vision is to expand the SCMP’s readership globally through digital distribution and easier access to content.”
In a letter to readers, Tsai explained that the company sees “the perfect opportunity” to merge Alibaba’s technology with “the deep heritage” of the South China Morning Post to create a news vision for the digital age. “The foundation for this work must be the quality of the content. And what underpins this will be editorial excellence: a clear pre-requisite to maintaining readers’ trust and, ultimately, achieving commercial success. Be assured, we get that,” he said.
In addition to the flagship South China Morning Post newspaper, the agreement also includes the Sunday Morning Post, its digital platforms SCMP.com and related mobile apps, two Chinese websites Nanzao.com and Nanzaozhinan.com, and a portfolio of magazine titles which include the Hong Kong editions of Esquire, Elle, Cosmopolitan, The PEAK and Harper’s Bazaar.
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