• HNA Chairman Chen Feng

HNA Chairman Chen Feng (Photo : Getty Images)

In its recent acquisition move, Chinese conglomerate HNA Group acquired an 80 percent stake in a Beijing-based media company that runs Caijing Magazine, one of the most popular and influential business magazines in the country, China Daily reported.

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The acquisition of the news media company adds to HNA's business portfolio which now includes finance, aviation, logistics, real estate, tourism, hospitality and ecological technology.

An employee who refused to be identified confirmed the equity acquisition, and said that the editorial work of the magazine will not be affected and will remain independent.

The equity change was made on Dec. 12, according to Tianyancha, a data query system. The actual amount of investment for 80 percent stake was not disclosed.

HNA Capital, the financial unit under HNA, now has a majority stake in Beijing Lianban Caixun Cultural Media, while the media organization itself has a 10.91 percent stake. The state-owned media group under State Grid Corp of China will hold the remaining shares.

Beijing Lianban also manages the website of Voyage, a travel magazine, and several other Chinese websites, the report said.

"The media industry is expected to become an even more important sector with the development of big data. Many investors rely on the data and information provided by the media to make more accurate decisions," Li Xiaojin, a professor of aviation economics at the Civil Aviation University of China in Tianjin, said.

"HNA is diversifying its business portfolio, and it seems natural for HNA to acquire a media group to gain more information," Li said.

HNA also made a string of acquisitions of overseas assets as part of its intensified global expansion. The company's overseas acquisitions include the acquisition of key stakes in a German airport, Deutsche Bank, Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc., Sky Bridge Capital, and others.

Meanwhile, Caijing, like other traditional media, has been into financial trouble in recent years. SEEC Media Group Ltd, which owns the advertising rights of Caijing, has lost nearly HK$200 million ($25.75 million) in 2015, down by 65.05 percent year-on-year.