Alibaba’s South China Morning Post Said to Cut 4% of Workers

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The South China Morning Post, the Hong Kong newspaper owned by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., is cutting 4% of staff in a reorganization of divisions including product, technology and subscriptions.

The revamp will take effect from April 12, SCMP Chief Executive Officer Gary Liu said in a memo to staff seen by Bloomberg News. The editorial side of the business isn’t mentioned in the memo.

The move is “categorically not a staff layoff exercise” and would affect “a minimal number of employees” due to redundancies, a spokesman for the paper said in an emailed statement, declining to provide the number of workers effected by the move. The restructuring is to align resources and expertise with company goals, he said.

Alibaba is coming under pressure from China to sell media assets, including the SCMP, on growing concerns about its influence over opinion, Bloomberg News reported last month. The reorganization “has no relation to recent unverified media reports,” the SCMP spokesman said.

Under billionaire founder Jack Ma, the technology giant built a sprawling portfolio of media assets spanning BuzzFeed-style online outlets, television-production companies and advertising assets. The SCMP is the leading English-language newspaper in Hong Kong.

“Sadly some of our dedicated staff will be leaving SCMP in the coming weeks,” Liu said in the memo.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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