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Politico moves into Asia by joining forces with SCMP

American media outlet Politico has made its first headway into Asia by signing a partnership with legacy Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post.

Starting initially as a content-sharing partnership, the deal will see Alibaba-owned SCMP and the political media outlet collaborating on joint editorial projects focused on American and Chinese relations.

According to the Wall Street Journal, should the partnership prove a success, deeper financial investment on both sides may take place. It was also reported that Politico does not intend to hire any staff in Hong Kong at this stage.

Shared articles have already started appearing on each of the sites, including a Politico feature on how China ‘acquires the crown jewels’ of US technology’ and an SCMP news story on Trump negotiator Robert Lighthizer.

For Politico, the deal gives the American title its first presence in Asia, three years after having expanded into Europe. Starting as a joint venture with German media giant Axel Springer, Politico now has a fully-fledged operation with nearly 40 reporters working across Europe.

Meanwhile, for SCMP, the partnership serves as another step towards the news outlet’s ambitious global expansion plans.

Having being acquired by Alibaba in 2015, the 115-year-old title recently hired former Silicon Valley honcho Gary Liu as its chief executive officer and has invested heavily in bringing the news outlet to an American audience.

As part of the US-drive, SCMP has hired reporters in Washington and New York, with plans to employ more staff  on the West Coast soon. In addition, SCMP recently launched two new websites, Abacus and Inkstone, which are primarily aimed at an American audience.

“The relationship between the US and China is one of the most important conversations shaping this next generation of decision makers, with consequences echoing not only in Washington, DC and Hong Kong, but around the world,” said Robert Allbritton, Politico owner and publisher.

Liu added: “This collaboration will provide distinctive and contextualised coverage on the interplay between the US and China, a relationship that impacts the entire world.”

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