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Wan Hai chairman made personal investment in online news platform

The Chen family which founded Taiwanese liner operator Wan Hai Lines has been revealed as having invested in Tai Sounds, a news website launched by compatriot third-party logistics company Asia Pacific Logistics International.

The move mirrors that of CMA CGM CEO Rudolphe Saade, who has taken a controlling stake in French newspaper La Provence and is part of a consortium to acquire a 48% stake in France's largest commercial television station M6.

Tai Sounds was launched in September, after reportedly recruiting a number of experienced political and financial journalists. On 4 December, Taiwanese media disclosed that Wan Hai chairman Chen Po-ting had invested in Tai Sounds, in his personal capacity. Chen is said to have been assisted with the investment by Zuo Rong-tai, a former chairman of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party.

A spokesperson for Wan Hai told Container News that the company had not invested in Tai Sounds. However, Container News found that Asia Pacific Logistics International and Tai Sounds are listed as related parties in Wan Hai's interim financial statements for the first six months of 2022.

Interest in online media has not been affected by the closure of Apple Daily Taiwan in September 2022, after the Chinese government's crackdown on the Hong Kong-headquartered publisher, including arresting its founder, Jimmy Lai.

Particularly, with local elections in November, many online publications took the initiative to expand their teams to meet demand for political news.

Martina Li
Asia Correspondent

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