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Matthew Brooker

Jack Ma Was Good for Press Freedom in Hong Kong

The sale of the city’s top English-language newspaper is cause for concern as the walls close in for the media.

Who will get their hands around the SCMP next?

Who will get their hands around the SCMP next?

Photographer: South China Morning Post/South China Morning Post

The news that the Chinese government has asked Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. to sell some of its media assets including Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post is another potential threat to this teetering bastion of free speech.

The timing looks ominous. As China remakes Hong Kong’s political system to remove the last vestiges of independent opposition, it is simultaneously engaged in an endeavor to make its narrative of events stick. The last thing authorities need is a Chinese-owned news outlet with global reach that continues to question whether, rather than “improving” Hong Kong’s democracy, Beijing is destroying it.