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Mogul in attempt to buy WSJ

By Wen Ya Source:Global Times Published: 2014-1-8 23:03:01

Chinese recycling mogul Chen Guangbiao said he will visit The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on Wednesday, US time, to discuss the purchase of the newspaper after he encountered difficulties in his attempt to buy The New York Times (NYT) company.

Chen, 45, told the Global Times via telephone on Wednesday that he would like to know if the WSJ is willing to cooperate with him and that he also wants to buy a US news website.

"The US has media with global influence. I want to buy some of these outlets to deliver positive ideas including peace, environmental protection and charity," Chen said. His new media purchase plan came after his failure to buy the NYT.

"The difficulty is that they are reluctant to sell it to me. They turned down requests for meetings to talk about the issue," Chen said. "These difficulties are normal in business. I've done my best with all sincerity and have no regret."

According to Chen, he planned to cooperate with a company in the US to jointly purchase the NYT and is still looking for a partner.

"Chen's behavior is a ridiculous stunt," Chen Lidan, a journalism professor with the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times Wednesday.

Wang Sixin, a law professor with the Communication University of China, told the Global Times that the purchase is possible but would face many difficulties as the "US media system is very different from China in its social system and values."

Chen, known for his flashy philanthropy, does not hold shares in the NYT, nor does he plan to buy any of its common shares.

The company, which publishes the newspaper for which it is named, has a market value of $2.3 billion.

Chen, who has been mulling a bid for the prestigious newspaper for the past two years, said last week he thinks it is worth $1 billion.

The Ochs-Sulzberger family, which has owned the NYT for more than 100 years, controls the company through a trust of Class B shares with special voting rights.

Chen wrote an article for the Global Times on Sunday, asking readers not to consider his plan to buy the NYT as a joke.

On January 1, NYT spokesperson Eileen Murphy stressed in an e-mail to the Global Times that their chairman, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., has said very recently that "The Times is not for sale."

As part of his 11-day visit in the US, which started on January 3, Chen said at a press conference held in New York on Tuesday that he had heard the San Francisco Bay Bridge was going to be demolished, and as his company specializes in tearing down old buildings, he wants to put in a bid to handle the demolition project.

Reuters contributed to this story

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