Alibaba’s SCMP spins-off NFT business to form ‘Artifact Labs’

TL;DR Breakdown

  • SCMP publishing firm, set to accelerate development of Dapps that bring history to blockchain via Artifact Labs.
  • Publishing firm expanding to form NFT firm.

The South China Morning Post announced today it will spin-off its blockchain-based NFT business to form a new company called ‘Artifact Labs.’

The launch of ‘Artifact Labs’ will accelerate the development of decentralized applications that bring historical assets onto the blockchain and help connect collectors and communities worldwide.

‘Artifact Labs’ will be better positioned as an independent company to deliver long-term growth in its blockchain business and create value for the Post’s audience, users, content creators, partners and other stakeholders. The new company plans to launch a marketplace designed for the sale and trading of historical NFTs that serves a growing community of collectors, publishers, libraries, museums and any institution interested in preserving history.

The Post will continue to be a shareholder in ‘Artifact Labs’ and seek third-party capital to help fund the company’s growth. This investment into the Web3 future of media will accelerate SCMP’s revenue and enterprise value growth while allowing the publishing group to remain focused on its core mission of delivering fact-based journalism and objective analysis to millions of readers worldwide.

The announcement builds on the successful launch of ‘ARTIFACTs by SCMP’ on 14 March, the Post’s first NFT drop featuring the publication’s contemporaneous capture of historical events, which established historical NFTs as a new digital asset class.

“Blockchain holds great potential for the media industry and SCMP is committed to leading in technological innovation and new business development. The founding of ‘Artifact Labs’ is part of this mission,” said SCMP CEO Gary Liu. “We expect that millions of people will own ARTIFACTs issued by media, historical and cultural organizations around the world and that historical NFTs will be the gateway for many users into Web3.”

As part of the strategic expansion into the Web3 future, Liu will take on responsibility to oversee the expansion of ‘Artifact Labs’ while remaining CEO of SCMP during a global search for a successor for the publishing group. Upon the appointment of a new CEO for the Post, Liu will transition fully to ‘Artifact Labs.’

Why Alibaba’s SCMP is floating Artifact Labs

“SCMP’s creation of ‘Artifact Labs’ to explore the potential of blockchain applications for media is a transformational step for our 118-year old organization,” said Joe Tsai, Chairman of SCMP. “With his experience running a news organization and extensive expertise in technology, Gary is the perfect person to lead our new effort in Web3 and explore future growth opportunities for SCMP,”

Tsai said of Liu. “I look forward to closely working with Gary to transition the leadership of our publishing group as we continue to fulfill our commitment to supporting the long-term growth of SCMP.”

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