Business / Technology

Alibaba could be planning Hong Kong media raid

By Meng Jing and Kahon Chan (China Daily) Updated: 2015-11-09 07:10

Alibaba could be planning Hong Kong media raid

A cyclist rides past a signboard of Alibaba Group in Hangzhou city, East China's Zhejiang province, June 25, 2014. [Photo/IC]

Alibaba may be set to make a major foray into the media and entertainment industries.

After announcing on Friday it was taking over China's top online video provider in a cash deal, rumors surfaced over the weekend that the mainland-based company is "in discussions" to invest in Hong Kong-based SCMP Group Ltd, which publishes the English-language newspaper South China Morning Post.

On Sunday, a spokesman for Alibaba told China Daily the company does not comment on market rumors. The communications department at SCMP Group did not respond to an inquiry.

The rumor surfaced after SCMP announced on Friday that Wang Xiangwei, the newspaper's editor-in-chief, was stepping down and Tammy Tam, Wang's No 2 since 2012, would take over from Jan 1.

Meanwhile, Shanghai-based mobile news app The Paper reported that Alibaba is in talks to take a stake in Sina Corp, which runs online news portal and Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter.

Industry observers said that since June, Alibaba has poured billions of dollars into media organizations, including online video giant Youku Tudou Inc.

Tian Hou, an analyst at TH Capital in Beijing, said Alibaba's media expansion is "very likely". Huang Guofeng, an analyst at the Internet consultancy Analysys International in Beijing, said Alibaba may have a "big vision to enter people's living rooms".

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