Sing Tao News Corp has announced its English-language tabloid newspaper The Standard will be distributed free from next week.
Sing Tao chairman Charles Ho Tsu-kwok said the move has been triggered by a changes to the information disclosure requirements of the Hong Kong stock exchange which prevents listed companies from placing paid advertisements.
As part of the move to free circulation, The Standard will overhaul its masthead and lift daily circulation to 120,000 with copies to be distributed to commercial buildings, residential areas, schools, universities as well as hotels, airports and sports clubs.
Copies will also be distributed at more than 80 high-traffic points throughout Hong Kong’s main business districts including Central, Western, Admiralty, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, Quarry Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui.
The increased circulation will be fully audited.
“Turning The Standard into a free paper is not something that came about yesterday,” Ho said.
“We have been pondering this since last year, and are prepared to enter into this uncharted market.”