The Buzz | South China Morning Post to put up paywall amid Kong Kong slump

South China Morning Post is dropping its free online model after months of political unrest and the coronavirus pandemic hit advertising revenue at the Hong Kong newspaper backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
Starting next month, the financial hub’s largest English-language newspaper will ask its readers to pay for content online, limiting free articles to a few per month, Editor-in-Chief Tammy Tam said yesterday on the newspaper’s website.
Hong Kong’s media industry has been reeling from the Covid-19 pandemic and months of political protests against Beijing’s tightening grip over the city. In April, with much of the city’s retail and tourism industries grinding to a halt, the South China Morning Post cut executive salaries and asked some workers to take unpaid leave.
“Comprehensive reporting is costly and the century-old advertising model is no longer enough to sustain high-quality news,” Tam said.
The newspaper had 50 million active users on its online platforms as of March and about 347,000 print readers as of the fourth quarter last year.

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