The South China Morning Post has suddenly announced the closure of its Chinese-language news site and lifestyle site, citing “resource integration.”

The links to the two websites redirect to the English-language site, with a pop-up message stating the reason for the closures in both simplified and traditional Chinese.

The news site was still publishing stories on Friday. Its Facebook page published its last news story at 2:27pm, whilst the Facebook page of the lifestyle site posted its last story on Thursday at noon.

Photo: Screenshot.

An SCMP spokesperson told Quartz that four staffers working on the Chinese site would be assigned to roles elsewhere. Now TV reported the newspaper’s management as saying at an internal meeting that the Post’s main target is English-language readers, rather than Chinese-language readers.

Last December, Chinese e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba announced its purchase of the South China Morning Post and its media assets.

The news site was first blocked on the mainland in December 2013, but it was sometimes accessible between July 2015 and February 2016, according to Chinese internet censorship analyser

The Weibo account of the Chinese-language news site was eliminated in March. The lifestyle site’s account posted its last message on Wednesday.

reuters chinese

In June, news wire Thomson Reuters decided to scale down its Chinese-language news site.

“We are reorganizing our Beijing editorial consumer operation to deploy more translation and editing resources to our professional news products from,” an internal email from Digital Executive Editor Dan Colarusso said at the time.

Several foreign media outlets still run Chinese-language news sites, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, BBC, the Financial Times, Nikkei, and Kyodo, among others.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.