Internet juggernaut Alibaba opened their wallet a tiny bit and purchased the assets of the South China Morning Post (SCMP) last week. The company stated it was a strategic move in recognition of providing insight into one of the world’s largest economies. One of the first things the new owners will do is to tear the paywall done as it has not done much to boost readership – something Alibaba clearly wants. The SCMP is one of the go-to digital publications for all things China including financial information. Alibaba posted an open letter to readers stating;
“We see a compelling business case for the acquisition because we believe that Alibaba is best positioned to take the SCMP to the next level… Our vision is to grow the readership globally. We believe we can do this because the SCMP, from its base in Hong Kong, is uniquely positioned to report on China with objectivity, depth and insight, a proposition that is in high demand by readers around the English-speaking world – from New York to London to its home in Hong Kong – who care to better understand the world’s second largest economy.
To help achieve our vision, we plan to make the SCMP more readily available. In this spirit, with enough preparation time after we take over operations, the pay wall on SCMP.com will come down, and you will be able to access its content for free on the Internet and on your mobile device.”
Alibaba is pretty much into everything internet these days. From shopping to travel to news to finance – it is all there. The company heralds the new generation of internet companies that provide all services online on a single platform. We are starting to see other companies move in that direction – it is just that Alibaba is first in executing its vision.