Haute 100: Jack Ma in Talks to Purchase Controlling Stake of Chinese Newspaper


Chinese business magnate and Haute 100 lister Jack Ma is in talks to buy the controlling stake in the South China Morning Post, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Currently, the deal remains in negotiations and has been in discussion for months. A source told the publication with the potential purchase becoming public could have a negative effect on the deal.

Earlier this month, in an interview with Bloomberg TV, Ma was quite reserved about his interest in the Chinese newspaper. He said, “We need media to help our small [and] medium-size companies to promote. And by the way, our advertisement dollars [are] huge.” He also added that a media company could benefit from Alibaba’s database. However, Ma did state he did not say he was interested in buying the Chinese newspaper and that he has his eyes on a number of companies.

If the deal were to be completed, it would put the largest local English-language newspaper in the controlling has of an inland Chinese company. In addition, Ma will be following in the footsteps of Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder who acquired Washington Post in 2013 for $250 million. Bezos’ officially ended 80 years of local control of the newspaper by the Graham family.

Earlier this year, the billionaire purchased plush property in New York’s Adirondacks. Known as Brandon Park, the property is approximately 28,100 acres, and feature trout streams, woodlands and a maple-syrup operation. It also boasts more than nine miles of the St. Regis River as well as a horse barn and a 1940s log camp behind the gated entrance.

The Chinese billionaire and e-commerce co-founder of Alibaba acquired the estate for $23 million through a New Brandon LLC. Ma, who closed on the property in May, intends to use the estate for conservation purposes. Ma plans to create a nonprofit entity to manage the Brandon Park property.

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