Alibaba-owned newspaper offers free online reading

The South China Morning Post now offers free online reading for all. The Hong Kong-based newspaper has dropped its online paywall, four months after having been acquired by ecommerce giant Alibaba for $266 million.

According to a report by Mashable, the online version of the 112-year-old paper is now completely free, after its paywall has been dismantled. The move has lead to speculations about what the business model of the newspaper will be. “Aside from continuing with online advertisements, there’s no clear plan for how the paper — which suffers a falling print subscription — will make money from its website”, the report said.

“Our focus now should not be on finding the right media business model. Our priority should be on how we should change to better adapt to the reading habits of our readers,” said Alibaba founder and chairman Jack Ma. “Our winning edge is to provide better services. Free services do not mean cheap services. Rather, offering free but quality services is how we can succeed and sustain our growth.”

Further reading on mashable.com

Image by South China Morning Post

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