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Alibaba removes South China Morning Post paywall following acquisition

Alibaba has announced that it has removed the paywall of the South China Morning Post (SCMP) newspaper it bought over a year ago, as approval for the acquisition was approved by SCMP shareholders at a meeting on 14 March.

The newspaper announced the move to its readers yesterday, with senior editor Yonden Lhatoo saying: “the Post is blazing a new trail again by giving readers free access to its online and mobile editions, opening up the most comprehensive and credible news site on Greater China to the rest of the world.”

Despite building a paid subscriber base of around 2.5 million, Alibaba has chosen to open up the paywall, allowing it to build further scale.

Alongside the removal of the paywall, the SCMP has launched a new mobile app, designed to have 'improved search, greater personalisation, faster loading time, and deep linking from social media'.

Robin Hu, CEO of the South China Morning Post Publishers, said: “Alibaba Group’s vision of bringing together SCMP’s heritage and editorial strength together with its technological prowess offers an assuring roadmap for SCMP’s passage into the digital realm with enhanced clarity and boosted confidence.”

The new app is now available on Apple App Store, Google Play and Windows Mobile for immediate download. While the paywall has been removed for digital editions, the print editions remain a paid product.

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