Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post in takeover talks

The publisher of Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post (SCMP) has confirmed that it is in talks to sell the popular English-language newspaper.

In a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the SCMP Group said it has received a “preliminary approach” from a third party to purchase its media assets, including the newspaper.

Reports suggest that Chinese e-ecommerce giant Alibaba is the bidder.

But Alibaba has not confirmed that it is interested in buying the newspaper.

However, sources told Reuters news agency that the Chinese tech giant, led by its famous chairman Jack Ma, was discussing buying the century-old newspaper to expand its business into the media sector.

In its statement, SCMP Group said talks of a possible purchase were at a very early stage.

“The terms of any potential transaction remain subject to discussion and to regulatory review” it said.

“There is no assurance that any such transaction will materialise or, if it materialises, will be consummated.”

The SCMP is a highly regarded newspaper for the English-speaking population in the former British colony.

The group also holds licences to several international publications such as Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Bazaar magazines.

Alibaba, meanwhile, is the world’s biggest e-commerce company and has interests in film companies and mainland Chinese media. – BBC