China's Alibaba Buys Leading Hong Kong Paper

Alibaba Ceo Jack Ma delivers a speech at the COP21 World Climate Change Conference on Dec. 5 in France. Photo: Christophe Petit Tesson / EPA

HONG KONG — The 112-year-old Hong Kong broadsheet South China Morning Post was purchased by the Alibaba Group for HKD2.06 billion (9.6 billion baht), the newspaper said Monday.

The closely watched deal was confirmed Friday, and includes several magazines published by the group, including HK Magazine and the Hong Kong editions of Esquire, Elle  and Harper's Bazaar.

The company also has interests in recruitment, outdoor media, events and conferences, education and digital media.

The final deal is expected to be completed by May 31.


China and media watchers are viewing the acquisition with caution.


Like many traditional news organizations, the Post needs capital to beef up its increasingly thin team of reporters and editors, but some are wary that the paper could become another mouthpiece for the Chinese government or Alibaba and its billionaire owner Jack Ma.

The newspaper is one of the most respected publications in the region, but has come under scrutiny in recent years for pulling punches in its reporting of China.

Story: DPA / Christy Choi