The South China Morning Post has confirmed that it is to close its free lifestyle and entertainment publication HK Magazine due to challenging market conditions.

A spokesperson for the company told HKFP that the last issue will be published next Friday, whilst its website and social media pages will be deleted from the internet a few days later.

“In the past few years, HK Magazine has been subjected to very challenging market conditions, which were especially dire for English-language lifestyle print media. Furthermore, the volatile advertising landscape, diminishing profitability from display advertising and event business further thwarted the magazine’s sustainability in the foreseeable future,” the spokesperson said.

First published in 1991, the popular weekly magazine – often given away in bars and cafes – was acquired by the SCMP in 2013. At the time of the buy-out, it claimed a circulation of 50,000.

The newspaper said that it has initiated a company-wide search in order to find suitable positions for the HK Magazine team.

“We hope that their skill sets and experience will match the current openings in SCMP and our magazines. Thus, some will be redeployed internally but eventually around five staff members might leave the company.”

The announcement came months after the magazine was rebranded and the website relaunched.

Last August, the Alibaba-owned SCMP group axed 48 HOURS – a similar, glossy weekend magazine. Last month, the SCMP axed its Chinese-language edition.

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Tom is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hong Kong Free Press. He has a BA in Communications & New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He has contributed to the BBC, Euronews, Quartz, Global Post and others.