Main­land SOE en­ters HK me­dia in­dus­try

Qing­daoWest Coast Hold­ings buys the owner ofMing Pao Weekly for $64.2m

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By FANFEIFEI in Bei­jing, LIN WENJIE in Hong Kong and XIECHUANJIAO in Qing­dao Con­tact the writ­ers at fanfeifei@chi­nadaiy.com.cn

State-owned Qing­dao West Coast Devel­op­ment Group Co Ltd has bought Me­dia Chi­nese In­ter­na­tional Ltd’s sub­sidiary, the owner of Ming Pao Weekly in Hong Kong, for HK$498 mil­lion ($64.2 mil­lion), in the lat­est step by main­land com­pa­nies into the over­seas me­dia mar­ket.

Me­dia Chi­nese In­ter­na­tional said on Mon­day in a state­ment that its sub­sidiary, One Me­dia Group Ltd, sold 73.01 per­cent of its shares and me­dia busi­ness in­clud­ing its Hong Kong pub­li­ca­tion, Ming Pao Weekly, and re­lated dig­i­tal busi­ness to Qing­dao West Coast Hold­ings (In­ter­na­tional).

The com­pany is the in­vest­ment arm of Qing­dao West Coast Devel­op­ment Group, set up in 2012 by the Qing­dao gov­ern­ment, with reg­is­tered cap­i­tal of 10 bil­lion yuan.

It is in charge of the devel­op­ment and con­struc­tion work of West Coast New Area, Qing­dao’s eco­nomic and tech­no­log­i­cal devel­op­ment zone.

Shares of Me­dia Chi­nese In­ter­na­tional, which re­sumed trad­ing onMon­day af­ter­noon in Hong Kong, rose 14.05 per­cent to HK$1.38 at the close.

Me­dia Chi­nese In­ter­na­tional, a lead­ing Chi­nese lan­guage me­dia plat­form, has five well-es­tab­lished Chi­nese lan­guage news­pa­pers, in­clud­ing Ming Pao Daily News, one of the most influential and cred­i­ble news­pa­pers in­Hong Kong.

Founded in Novem­ber 1968 by Ming Pao Daily News, Ming Pao Weekly is a life­style and en­ter­tain­ment mag­a­zine tar­geted at mid­dleread­ers in Hong Kong. It con­tents cover en­ter­tain­ment news, film, tourism, fash­ion trends and cul­ture.

Ming Pao Weekly is also One Me­dia Group’s main turnover con­tribut­ing busi­ness for the Hong Kong seg­ment.

It’s not the first time a main­land com­pany has pur­chased a Hong Kong me­dia group.

Last De­cem­ber, in­ter­net gi­ant Alibaba Group Hold­ing Ltd spent HK$2.06 bil­lion to ac­quire the me­dia as­sets of SCMP Group, in­clud­ing the South China Morn­ing Post.

Hong Kong­based an­a­lysts said it is prob­a­bly another step in Alibaba’s quest to build a me­dia em­pire. “It is a trend for main­land com­pa­nies to in­vest in the Hong Kong me­dia in­dus­try,” said Victor Fung Ke­ung, prin­ci­pal lec­turer at the Com­mu­ni­ca­tion School of Hong Kong Bap­tistUniver­sity.

“In the next 10 years, 80 per­cent of lo­cal me­dia will be sup­ported by cap­i­tal from the main­land,” he said.

“It is a win-win deal,” he ex­plained, say­ing that main­land com­pa­nies can learn how to op­er­ate off­shore me­dia, pre­par­ing them for the fur­ther ac­qui­si­tion of me­dia com­pa­nies in other places.

money that Alibaba spent to ac­quire the me­dia as­sets of SCMP Group last year

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