China wants to dismantle Alibaba’s media empire: reports – TechCrunch

Over the years, Jack Ma has accumulated a media portfolio in China that rivals that of Jeff Bezos in the United States. But now the future of Ma’s media empire lies in the crosshairs of the Chinese government, wary of a growing media clat of billionaires.

Chinese authorities have ordered Alibaba to divest some of its media assets due to growing concerns about the company’s sway over public opinion in the country. Wall Street Journal And Bloomberg Reported citing sources.

Alibaba’s campaigns in media investments were investigated when the company announced Purchase of south china morning post, An English-language newspaper was launched in Hong Kong 118 years ago. Its notable media holdings in mainland China include the New York-listed technology news site 36Kr, which is with the help of Alibaba’s fintech affiliate Ant Group, as well as state-owned Shanghai Media Group, comprising A. Strategic agreement With Alibaba.

Critics have questioned Alibaba’s stake in the South China Morning Post, a leading Asia paper. To acknowledge the concerns, Jack Ma Has pledged To preserve editorial independence of news outlets.

In other media deals, Alibaba often focuses on the ability for digital collaboration with publications. For example, it promised to use its data and cloud computing expertise to help Shanghai Media Group, an influential financial media group, develop financial data platforms.

Alibaba has also demanded a new media upstart, placing substantial bets in China’s Twitter counterpart, Weibo, And a video site popular among Chinese youth, Bilibili, Which counts Alibaba nemesis Tencent as a major shareholder.

Concerns increased when post scores about Weibo were removed Alibaba executiveExtramarital affair last June. Soon after, China’s top Internet regulator Also reprimanded Weibo “interferes with online communication orders” without identifying a case.

The Chinese government has already started a wave of crackdown on concentrated power in the Internet economy. In December, the antagonist regulator A small fine on Alibaba and Tencent Respectively for failing to report previous acquisitions for withdrawal. It remains to be seen who has shed Alibaba’s prized media assets.