Can a little magic revive the South China Morning Post?

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Jack Ma

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. announced on Friday its purchase of Hong Kong’s flagship newspaper, the South China Morning Post. With this acquisition, the e-commerce giant will become one step closer to building its own media empire.

Financial details of the deal were not revealed. But Jack Ma announced a few of the changes he wished to incorporate. He has acquired not just the newspaper, but also other businesses affiliated to it such as magazine and recruitment. He has decided to remove its internet paywall and shift the authority of editorial decisions from the boardroom to the newsroom.

Alibaba Group has been making significant investments in the media industry. It bought video service Youku Tudou Inc. in November  and has also ventured into the film industry by investing in Paramount’s latest “Mission Impossible” movie.

Jack Ma is just one of the many business tycoons investing in ailing media companies. His acquisition may be compared to that of the Washington Post by Bezos and of the New Republic Magazine by Chris Hughes.

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