Alibaba Group may acquire SCMP group

By Money Times

Nov 17, 2015 12:13 AM EST

Chinese e-commerce major Alibaba Group is planning to make yet another investment plan for the media segment. The Chinese media reports reveal that Alibaba may acquire SCMP Group, which runs China Daily. 

The SCMP Group is facing stiff competition from digital media and owners of the publication are looking for a suitable buyer. The estimated market value of SCMP Group is at HK$3.04 billion ($390million).

SCMP Group declined to provide any information regarding rumors spread in the market. According to a news report published in China Daily, the Jack Ma-led company is negotiating on investment options in SCMP Group, a Hong Kong-based media company. SCMP Group owns South China Morning Post.

Alibaba has a war chest of multi-billion dollars to support its acquisition plans for media entertainment ventures. Alibaba in June floated a financial news joint venture with China Business Network (CBN), which is China's leading business daily.

Of late, Alibaba has been investing in media ventures. Alibaba has invested in Sina Weibo, Huayi Brothers, and Enlight Media. It bought an online video site Youku Tudou for $3.67billion.

SCMP's owner, the Kuok family of Malaysia is looking for a right buyer for some time, according to Value Walk News.

Earlier also there were rumors made rounds in the media circles that Citic, a Chinese financial conglomerate, was in negotiations to buy SCMP Group and couldn't make it complete as the asking price was too high for the company.

Alibaba Group bought China Business News (CBN) for Yuan 1.2 billion ($194 million). CBN runs TV channels and newspapers in China. After the acquisition, CBN will focus on financial data and information platform for providing services to investment market, as reported by ZDNet.

The SCMP newspaper is undergoing drastic changes at staff and management levels. The editor-in-chief Wang Xiangwei is leaving and will be replaced by his deputy Tammy Tam in January next year. Over 35 employees have already left the publication.

Unconfirmed sources say Alibaba is willing to buy the entire SCMP Group.

Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report says as part of its business strategy to expand media and data services, Alibaba launched a new data service for local governments in China. 

This service helps in searching e-Commerce related statistics. Alibaba Group is also planning to transform shoppers into investors. It has launched Alipay on lines of PayPal, to provide stock quotes and charts in addition to financial news and information.

Alibaba was preparing for Singles' Day, the biggest shopping event in China held on 11 November. Alibaba recorded $9.34 billion worth business on this day in 2014. 

Alibaba was deploying 1.7million delivery boys, 400,000 vehicles, 5,000 warehouses and over 200 airplanes to ensure timely delivery of goods purchased on Alibaba website.

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