Alibaba’s financial affiliate Ant Financial has invested in influential Chinese media group Caixin Media as part of Alibaba’s media expansion plan.
A source familiar with the matter in Caixin confirmed the deal to AllChinaTech without disclosing the amount of investment. Caixin issued a statement on the same day saying it is about to complete a Series C financing round, though it did not name investors.
Founded in 2009 with headquarters in Beijing, Caixin provides financial and business news through mobile apps, books, TV programs, video segments and magazines, with renowned investigative financial news magazine New Century Weekly among them. The group and the magazine are led by Hu Shuli, founder and editor-in-chief of Caixin. She was selected as one of the 100 most powerful women in the world by Forbes in 2014.
China Media Capital, a state-backed investment fund, became Caixin’s largest shareholder in 2013 by acquiring 40% of its stake from newspaper group Zhejiang Daily Press Group. Chinese tech giant Tencent also invested in Caixin in 2012.
“The new investors will, just like our former investors, respect Caixin’s independent editorial principle, and respect Caixin’s internal safety net and our regulations that ensure our media credibility,” Caixin’s statement said.
Alibaba has made a flurry of investments in more than a dozen media organizations so far in order to expand its media empire.
The company purchased Hong Kong’s oldest English newspaper the South China Morning Post last December. In recent years, it has invested in Shanghai-based mainstream media outlet China Business News, as well as leading Chinese tech blogs Huxiu.com and 36Kr.
“We need media to help promote our small-medium-size companies,”said Alibaba founder Jack Ma in an interview with Bloomberg TV last November.
Ant Financial could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.
(Top photo from Baidu Images)