Alibaba rumored to be forced to sell media assets

The Wall Street Journal reported that Alibaba has been notified that it has been required to sell its media assets because the mainland government has overdue the growing influence of technology giants on public opinion.

The report quoted people familiar with the matter as saying that the regulator has reviewed the list of Alibaba’s media assets and was shocked by Alibaba’s media power, and asked Alibaba to implement a plan to significantly reduce its shareholding.

Since the mainland regulators censored Alibaba, there have been requests for rectification of shares in the media industry since the beginning of this year. Alibaba claims that its investment in media is to provide technical support for its business upgrades and to achieve commercial synergy with Alibaba’s core business. Alibaba emphasizes that it does not interfere with the work of the media and editorial decisions.

According to the Wall Street Journal statistics, Alibaba currently 100% wholly owns nearly 37% of the shares of the Hong Kong English-language media “South China Morning Post”, the mainland media “CBN Group”, and the social platform “Sina Weibo” nearly 30%. And 6.7 percent of the shares in the audio-visual platform “Bilibili”. It is estimated that the value of Ali’s shares in listed media companies is as high as 8 billion U.S. dollars (approximately NT$25.6 billion).

In addition, Alibaba’s Ant Group owns 16.2% of the shares in the technology media “36氪”, and also owns 5% of the shares in the “Mango SuperMedia” of Hunan Satellite TV, and the largest advertising network in mainland China. “Focus Media” 5.3% of the shares. Ant Group also bought a 5.6 percent stake in Caixin Media at one time, but it has been sold.

Netease News reported that, in addition, Alibaba is said to be a shareholder of Huxi.com and Business Review. At the same time, it has invested in entertainment media such as Guangguang Media, Huayi Brothers, Cultural China, etc., and wholly-owned video service platform “Youku” .

The report pointed out that Alibaba’s media plot originated from the establishment of the Internet media “Tianxia Netshang” in 2010 by Jack Ma and Zhejiang Publishing Group. Since 2012, Alibaba has actively expanded the media field, covering social platforms, crypto media, video websites and traditional paper media.

According to statistics, Alibaba has included 30 to 40 media companies through direct, indirect, affiliated, and individual shareholding. Together with the penetration of strategic alliances, cooperation, and investment into the media industry, Alibaba has become a huge company. The media empire.

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