DECEMBER 22ND 2015
ALIBABA GROUP BIDDING FOR HONG KONG MEDIA OUTLETS
It is no secret that China is very meticulous with the image it projects abroad. This has been the main argument beneath the difficult relationship between the government and foreign journalists. That was the case when Bloomberg and the New York Times faced the exclusion of their websites and journalists. China has their own news agencies that publish in foreign language, nevertheless they do not enjoy of the prestige of major media empires from the United States or Europe.
Hence, Alibaba Group’s move bidding for media assets of the SCMP group has been highly valued by Beijing. Respected Hong Kong’s English-language newspaper, South China Morning Post, is one of the outlets to be acquired. According to Liu Jibao, Director of the National Propaganda Commission, stressed that the move will help to «properly tell fresh and lively Chinese stories». He insisted that it will also «increase China’s cultural soft power.»
Alibaba will spend USD 100 million, a small amount for a company registering USD 12 billion in annual revenue. The question behind is then what political consequences will the purchase have. On the one hand, in the words of Liu Jibao, there is an interest to «use Chinese products to better tell China’s story». That could be the reason for the biggest e-commerce actor to invest on a media outlet. On the other, it could directly help the Chinese government to clean its image abroad. This could be counterproductive; as direct involvement could destroy the reputation of the outlets.
In any case, the move is interesting. Not only the Chinese government, but also China watchers have been looking for a more balanced source of information, and this could be it. Alibaba will have to be smart on the use of this opportunity if it wants to profit from the purchase. Additionally, Beijing will have to give some leeway to the new SCMP in order to portray a fair and balanced image of the country.
Annex Asia Publishingpublishing@annexasia.com
Image : alibabagroup.comTags: Inspections China, Inspections Asia, Quality Control China, QC China, Quality Control Asia, QC Asia, Factories China, Laboratory testing China, Inspectors China, Factory Audit, Product inspection China, Product inspection Asia, Initial Production Inspection China, During Production Inspection China, Power Banks, Container Loading Inspection China, Inspection standards China, Inspections standards Asia, Inspections India, Quality Control India, QC India, Laptop Cooling Pads, Manufacturers China