These media sources have a slight to moderate liberal bias. They often publish factual information that utilizes loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes) to favor liberal causes. These sources are generally trustworthy for information, but may require further investigation. See all Left-Center sources.
- Overall, we rate The South China Morning Post Left-Center biased based on editorial positions that moderately favor the left and Mixed for factual reporting due to poor sourcing.
Factual Reporting: MIXED
Country: Hong Kong
World Press Freedom Rank: Hong Kong 80/180
Founded in 1903 by Australian Chinese revolutionary Tse Tsan-tai and British journalist Alfred Cunningham, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) is a Hong Kong-based English-language newspaper. SCMP provides news, business, arts, tech, and culture for global readers, with a focus on China and Asia. According to its about page, the South China Morning Post’s mission is to “Lead the global conversation about China.” SCMP is also Hong Kong’s newspaper of record and publishes fashion magazines, including Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Esquire, and The Peak.
On April 5, 2016, Alibaba Group acquired SCMP Group in a $266 million deal including the South China Morning Post. Former CEO of Digg, Gary Liu is CEO of the South China Morning Post since 2017. Tammy Tam Wai Yee is the Editor-in-Chief. For a complete list of corporate executives please see here.
Funded by / Ownership
Analysis / Bias
According to a Quartz article dated 2017, they state that after being acquired by Alibaba Group, SCMP’s narrative became more pro-China. The article also quotes Joseph Tsai, Alibaba’s co-founder, and vice chairman, as saying “We wanted to tell the biggest story of our lifetime, which is China.” According to the NY Times, the new mission of SCMP is “improving China’s image overseas and combating what it sees as anti-Chinese bias in the foreign media.” Reuters points out that Jack Ma, the head of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is a Communist Party member.
In review, The South China Morning Post publishes stories with emotionally loaded headlines such as this “Chinese companies moving to Vietnam keep quiet on trade war to avoid wrath of authorities and staff.” This article does not report favorably on China as evidenced by this quote from the article “Chinese state media may have launched a fierce propaganda campaign, placing the blame for the trade war squarely at the feet of the US government.” They further state “Companies are also fearful of growing hostility from local governments in China, should they announce their plans to relocate.” In another example of negative reporting on China, we examined their critical tone regarding China’s vaccine scandal, with this quote “Disease numbers are being swept under the carpet and false expiry dates slapped on injections, industry insiders say.” In general, articles are poorly sourced and lack hyperlinks.
When reporting U.S. news, they use minimally loaded language in their headlines such as “Donald Trump warns China to reach a trade deal now, or face a ‘far worse’ one if I get re-elected.” Again, when it comes to sourcing, they use quotes or source to themselves, rather than providing hyperlinks. They also write pro-China articles such as “Chinese President Xi Jinping warns of disaster if one civilisation imposes its will on another.” Editorials tend to be pro-business such as this “Beijing could not give in to all US demands at recent talks out of concern for national dignity and matters of principle, so G20 may be last chance for the two leaders to meet ahead of an even more ferocious trade war.” They also have a content partnership with Politico.
Although SCMP has been accused of promoting China, we find evidence that they cover both sides by being critical of China as well as praising them.
Failed Fact Checks
- None to date
Overall, we rate The South China Morning Post Left-Center biased based on editorial positions that moderately favor the left and Mixed for factual reporting due to poor sourcing. (M. Huitsing 8/4/2017) Updated (8/30/2020)