Hong Kong newspaper the South China Morning Post is making a foray into the world of non-fungible tokens in the latest move by a Hong Kong publisher to preserve content through blockchain technology.

Fast facts

  • The SCMP today released its “ARTIFACT” lite paper, a project designed to advocate “a standardized metadata structure for recording accounts of history and historical assets on the blockchain as non-fungible tokens,” the publisher said in a statement.
  • The news outlet, owned by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, plans to mint a collection of NFTs from its 118-year-old archives of historical moments, and aims to create greater value from its “first draft of history.” The organization did not specify which blockchains or platforms it would create, sell and trade its NFTs on.
  • SCMP chief executive Gary Liu said in a statement that blockchain offered immense potential to immutably preserve journalism that witnesses and explains history. “The ‘ARTIFACT’ project is an opportunity to discover, collect, showcase, trade and reanimate meaningful moments and objects from our collective human experience and we are excited to introduce this standard to the world,” he said.
  • The SCMP has recently announced a strategic partnership with The Sandbox to utilize the news outlet’s extensive gallery of visuals for cultural experiences in The Sandbox’s open gaming metaverse.
  • As political tensions continue to loom over the former British colony, some are taking action to preserve the city’s cultural history. For instance, Taiwan-based NFT marketplace Lootex recently held a sale of NFTs of the first volume of “Buddha’s Palm,” a famous Hong Kong manga series first published in the 1980s.
  • Some Hong Kong activists also share the idea of preserving content on blockchains. When Hong Kong’s Apple Daily, the city’s biggest-circulation pro-democracy newspaper, was forced by the government to shut down last month, a 21-year-old local developer started a “dAppleDaily” project to “decentralize Apple Daily” by scraping content from the paper’s website and putting it on Arweave, a decentralized data storage platform.