South China Morning Post May Come Under Beijing's Control
Former Alibaba chairman Jack Ma told to travel abroad to manage assets
A plan by the Hong Kong Liaison Office, Beijing’s representative in the territory, to bring the South China Morning Post under government control by grouping the 118-year-old broadsheet with its stable of pro-Beijing newspapers would virtually end any last semblance of independent local English-language journalism in the city.
Although the story, first reported by Bloomberg, has been denied by South China Morning Post management, other sources say it is credible. The current owner is Alibaba Group, a large Chinese e-commerce firm whose former chairman, Jack Ma, has been harnessed by the central government to travel abroad under Beijing’s direction to deal with overseas assets.
The Liaison Office already controls Wen Wei Po and Ta Kung Pao, both pro-Beijing Chinese-language newspapers. If the Liaison Office gains control of the 118-year-old broadsheet, Hong Kong’s press freedom as well as the city’s “One Country Two Systems” risks further erosion…