According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, the Chinese government has ordered Alibaba Group Holding Ltd to divest all of its media assets.
Discussions over the matter have been ongoing since the beginning of this year, with sources saying government officials have been shocked to what extend Alibaba’s media assets have grown.
Wielding such power over the masses poses a serious challenge to the ruling dictatorial Communist Party of China since its propaganda could be openly challenged.
Alibaba has stakes in China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform along with several news outlets including Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post.
Alibaba did not immediately respond to requests for comments.
In a Tuesday letter to South China Morning Post employees the newspaper’s CEO Gary Liu said “Alibaba’s commitment to SCMP remains unchanged and continues to support our mission and business goals.”