Tags: Chen | NYT | WSJ | China

Chinese Tycoon: I'll See if The Wall Street Journal's for Sale

Image: Chinese Tycoon: I'll See if The Wall Street Journal's for Sale

Friday, 10 Jan 2014 07:11 AM

By Michelle Smith

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After eyeing a stake in The New York Times, Chinese recycling magnate Chen Guangbiao has his sights on The Wall Street Journal.

"I am going to talk to The Wall Street Journal and find out if it's for sale," Chen told Sinovision, a New York-based Chinese television station, CNBC reported .

This announcement comes after Chen's hopes of buying a $1 billion stake in The Times were shot down.

Editor’s Note:
These 38 Dates Are Key to Bagging $313,038

He had a meeting on Jan. 5 with "a small shareholder" of The Times who was supposed to "coordinate the deal from the top," he told Forbes. But it was canceled after his premature public announcement prompted unappreciated media attention.

Criticism stemmed, in large part, from Chen's promise to repair The Times' image in China, where the paper has been blocked since 2012, following the printing of a story about the wealth of former Premier Wen Jiabao's family.

The Journal confirmed that Chen indeed wants to buy a media property "with global influence," hoping to "report ways rich people can help the poor" and improve coverage of the environment, but it didn't mention any discussions about his interest in the paper.

But he said he isn't getting very far and admitted that The Times doesn't want his cash. Chen told The Journal a Times executive sent him a memo denying his request for a meeting to discuss his investment.

Chen doesn't have experience in the American media industry, but that's not stopping him.

Chen told Sinovision he's aware that many U.S. newspapers are Jewish-owned, and he has "equally competent IQ and EQ" as compared with Jewish people.

And, "I am very good at working with Jews," he noted, according to CNBC.

In addition to a media acquisition, Chen told Forbes he's eyeing another business venture — the $240 million demolition of the old eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in California, which was damaged by an earthquake in 1989.

Chen is known for being a philanthropist and an eccentric, highlighted by his recent distribution of business cards, with a list of titles including, "Most Influential Person in China," "Most Well-known and Beloved Chinese Role Model" and "China Earthquake Rescue Hero."

Chen is well-known for his generosity and assistance of victims after the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan.

And he admits that publicity stunts are part of his public persona, according to The Journal. But, "Please remember one thing," he added. "Whatever I say is true."

Chen is one of China's top 400 richest people, according to CNBC. And he has vowed to ultimately give away all his assets.

"I came naked into this world and will leave naked," he told The Journal. "I will fulfill my promise."

Editor’s Note: These 38 Dates Are Key to Bagging $313,038

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