The South China Morning Post
(aka SCMP or 'the Post'), together with its Sunday edition, the Sunday Morning Post
, is an English-language Hong Kong newspaper
This is a list of newspapers in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is home to many of Asia's biggest English and Chinese language newspapers. The territory has one of the world's largest press industries and is a major centre for print journalism.-Popularity:...
, published by the SCMP Group
The SCMP Group is a publishing group in Hong Kong. SCMP publishes:* South China Morning Post - a daily English-language newspaper in Hong Kong* Hong Kong edition of Cosmopolitan, CosmoGirl and Harpar's Bazaar* Automobile...
with a circulation of 104,000.
Reginald Chua, deputy managing editor of The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal is an American English-language international daily newspaper. It is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corporation, along with the Asian and European editions of the Journal....
and former editor of The Wall Street Journals Asia edition, was appointed editor-in-chief on 2 July 2009, replacing CK Lau. Chua was joined by David Lague, formerly of the International Herald Tribune
The International Herald Tribune is a widely read English language international newspaper. It combines the resources of its own correspondents with those of The New York Times and is printed at 38 sites throughout the world, for sale in more than 160 countries and territories...
and The Wall Street Journal, as managing editor. Chua has since stepped down, replaced by former Deputy Editor Cliff Buddle.
South China Morning Post Ltd was founded by Tse Tsan-tai
Tse Tsan-tai , styled Sing-on , art-named Hong-yu was a Chinese revolutionary of the late Qing Dynasty. Tse was the first Chinese to fly an airship, China in 1899...
and Alfred Cunningham in 1903. The first edition of the paper was published on 6 November 1903.
From its founding, during the Qing dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....
until 1913, after the establishment of the Chinese Republic, it was known as 'Nam Ching Jo Bo' - the South Ching Morning Post. In 1913, it became 'Nam Wah Jo Bo' - the South China Morning Post.
In November 1971, it was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange
The Hong Kong Stock Exchange is a stock exchange located in Hong Kong. It is Asia's third largest stock exchange in terms of market capitalization behind the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the Shanghai Stock Exchange and fifth largest in the world...
. It was privatised by Rupert Murdoch
Keith Rupert Murdoch, AC, KSG is an Australian-American business magnate. He is the founder and Chairman and CEO of , the world's second-largest media conglomerate....
's News Corporation
News Corporation or News Corp. is an American multinational media conglomerate. It is the world's second-largest media conglomerate as of 2011 in terms of revenue, and the world's third largest in entertainment as of 2009, although the BBC remains the world's largest broadcaster...
in 1987, and relisted in 1990.
Malaysian tycoon Robert Kuok
Robert Kuok Hock Nien , is an influential Malaysian Chinese businessman. According to Forbes his net worth is estimated to be around $12.5 billion on May 2011, making him the richest person in Malaysia and Southeast Asia....
's Kerry Media bought the controlling interest from News Corp in October 1993. His son, Kuok Khoon Ean, took over as chairman at the end of 1997. Kuok Khoon Ean's sister, Kuok Hui Kwong, was named chief executive officer on 1 Jan 2009.
Circulation and profitability
The paper has a circulation, which has remained relatively constant at 104,000 copies since 2000. The average audited circulation for the first half of 2007 stood at 106,054, while its Sunday edition, the Sunday Morning Post, has a readership of 80,865. Its readership outside Hong Kong remains at some 6,825 copies for the same period, again, relatively unchanged. It also had the enviable position as the most profitable newspaper in the world on a per reader basis, profit declined since peaking in 1997 at HK$805 million, yet its growth potential is viewed as being largely dependent on its ability to penetrate the wider Chinese market.
The Group reported net profit of HK$338 million for the year 2006 (2005 = HK$246m), the operating profit of HK$419m (2005 = HK$306m) was attributable mainly to the newspaper operation.
The selling price of the paper is HK$8 each from Monday to Saturday, and HK$10 for the Sunday Morning Post. A discounted student subscription is also available. It was increased 14.5% (from HK$7) and 25% (from HK$8) respectively in August 2011.
The printed version of the Post is in a broadsheet format, in sections: Main, City, Sport, Business, Classifieds, Property (Wednesday), Racing (Wednesday), Technology (Tuesday), Education (Saturday), Style magazine (first Friday of every month); the Sunday edition contains Main, a Review section, a Post Magazine, Racing, "At Your Service", a services directory, and "Young Post", targeted at younger readers.
On 26 March 2007, the Post was given a facelift, with new presentation and font
In typography, a font is traditionally defined as a quantity of sorts composing a complete character set of a single size and style of a particular typeface...
Scmp.com is a subscription-only service, which also allows the retrieval of archive
An archive is a collection of historical records, or the physical place they are located. Archives contain primary source documents that have accumulated over the course of an individual or organization's lifetime, and are kept to show the function of an organization...
articles dating back from 1993. It was launched online in December 1996. On 30 May 2007, scmp.com relaunched with a new look, features, and multimedia content. Headlines and the introduction to stories are now free to view, while the full articles are available to subscribers. Archive photos and articles are available for purchase.
On 16 July 2007, scmp.com launched its first-ever viral video marketing campaign targeting a global audience and highlighting the new multimedia features of the website.
The Kuok family is known to be pro-Beijing
The Central People's Government is the central government of the People's Republic of China in Beijing. According to the 1982 Constitution, "Central People's Government" is synonymous with the State Council.-History:...
, and questions have been raised over the paper's editorial independence. There have been concerns, denied by Kuok, over the forced departures, in rapid succession, of several staff and contributors who were considered critical of China or its supporters in Hong Kong. These included, in the mid-1990s, their popular cartoonist Larry Feign
Larry Feign , an American-born cartoonist, is best known for his comic strip The World of Lily Wong. He attended the University of California, Berkeley and Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont, graduating with a B.A. in 1979...
, humour columnist Nury Vittachi
Nury Vittachi is a journalist and author based in Hong Kong. His columns are published daily, weekly in a variety of newspapers in Asia as well as on his website. He is best known for the comedy-crime novel series The Feng Shui Detective, published in many languages around the world, but he has...
, and numerous China-desk staff, namely 2000–01 editorial pages editor Danny Gittings, Beijing correspondent Jasper Becker, and China pages editor Willy Lam, who departed after his reporting had been publicly criticised by Robert Kuok.
Cartoonist Feign was abruptly dismissed not long after Kuok's purchase of the newspaper, after running several cartoons about the culling of human body parts from Chinese prisoners. His firing was defended as "cost cutting", but was widely viewed as political self-censorship during the jittery final years before Hong Kong's handover to the PRC.
Editorial page editor Gittings complained that in January 2001 he was told to take a "realistic" view of editorial independence and ordered not to run extracts of the Tiananmen Papers
The Tiananmen Papers was first published in English in January 2001 by PublicAffairs. The extended Chinese version of this book was published in April that same year under the title 中國六四真相 by Mirror Books in Hong Kong...
but was allowed to only after protesting "strenuously". The editor, however, believed that there had already been sufficient coverage.
At the launch of a joint report published by the Hong Kong Journalists' Association and Article 19 in July 2001, the chairman of the Hong Kong Journalists' Association said: "More and more newspapers self-censor themselves because they are controlled by either a businessman with close ties to Beijing, or part of a large enterprise, which has financial interests over the border."
Mark L. Clifford is an author and former journalist who worked for BusinessWeek, the Far Eastern Economic Review, and Forbes. He was the publisher and editor-in-chief of The Standard newspaper in Hong Kong from January 2004 to February 2006, and the Editor-in-Chief the South China Morning Post, its...
, appointed editor-in-chief in February 2006, also enjoyed a turbulent 14 months on the job. He was responsible for the high-profile dismissal several journalists over an internal prank.
As of 26 August 2010, SCMP Group posted a profit of $52.3 million in the first half of 2010.