Billionaire Jack Ma founder of the giant Chinese conglomerate, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) is set to make news in the business world. Ma has expressed his interest in acquiring the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post which is Hong Kong’s dominant English-language daily newspaper. News from Bloomberg indicates that the negotiations are at an advanced stage and which will soon lead to the formal acceptance of a treaty between Ma and SCMP.
It is not clear yet how much the Alibaba founder will make from the deal whose announcement is set for next week and which Hong Kong residents are not looking at positively. Already Ma’s net worth is estimated at $22 billion U.S and after acquiring the Morning post, he will join the bandwagon of other billionaire tech moguls the likes of Jeff Bezos.
Lately, Ma has been making headlines on the business show biz. If he is not talking about Alibaba’s success and how it started from retailing in fake goods, he is keeping a tab on a string of investments in a range of loosely interrelated businesses.
SCMP was once known to be the world’s most profitable daily newspaper. However, reports have it that its independence was questioned after its purchase by the Kerry Group under the leadership of Robert Kuok.
However, SCMP has not been trading in its stock since 2013 after the drop of its earnings with more than 25%. Additionally, more than 35 staffers have left the newspaper in the last six months. But why does Ma seem so fit the bill of a suitable buyer of the Morning post?
Well, rumors indicate that he has close ties to the government that give him an upper hand of suitability and probably Kuok could not land on any other appropriate buyer after shopping around for a while.
Meanwhile, Wang Xiangwei, the current SCMP’s editor has announced his interest in stepping down citing that he wants to return to Beijing. His deputy Tammy Tam, who is familiar person to many for her participation in deceitfully reporting of the death of Jiang Zemin, will take over from Xieangwei.