Alibaba's founder, the immensely wealthy Jack Ma, wants to acquire SCMP Group Ltd., the owner of several publications like the Hong Kong-focused South China Morning Post.
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The South China Morning Post is an English paper, which has been around for 112 years and which is made in Hong Kong. Similarly to other newspapers worldwide, SCMP is struggling to deal with the arrival of the internet, which has had detrimental effects on its readership and ad income.
Malaysian billionaire Robert Kuok currently owns SCMP Group Ltd., after buying it from Rupert Murdoch in 1993. It is not clear what the founder of China's largest online company wants with the publisher that also has several magazines and other publications. Insiders have told financial press agency Bloomberg that the deal will be finalized in the next few days. Only then will we know what Jack Ma's stake will be.
He will become the third well-known internet billionaire to step into the media industry, following Chris Hughes (one of Facebook's co-founders) who bought a majority stake in New Republic back in 2012. Jeff Bezos, known for his position at internet department store Amazon, also bought a newspaper, the Washington post, in 2013.