A spotlight-loving Chinese business mogul said Tuesday that he wanted to expand his empire into media by purchasing the New York Times.
Chen Guangbiao, who made his fortune recycling material from torn-down buildings, said he plans to discuss the issue in January with “a leading shareholder” in New York, according to Reuters.
“There’s nothing that can’t be bought for the right price,” Chen told Reuters.
Known for his showman flair, the multimillionaire has pulled publicity-seeking stunts in the past. In January, for example, Chen tried to draw attention to China’s heavy smog problem by handing out cans of “fresh air” stamped with his likeness.
If Chen successfully follows through on a bid, he would be one in a string of ultra-wealthy businessmen who have recently stepped into the newspaper industry.
Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos purchased the Washington Post this year for $250 million, ending four generations of family ownership. Entrepreneur Aaron Kushner, who controls the Orange County Register along with several smaller Southland papers, closed the purchase of the Riverside Press-Enterprise last month.
The Sulzberger family has maintained control of the New York Times for generations, remaining the last family running a major American newspaper.
After the sale of the Post sale fueled speculation about the Times’ future, company Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. said earlier this year that the paper was not on the auction block.
Chen told Reuters that he believes the “Times chairman will change his way of thinking” in due time.
If not, the businessman said he’d look into buying the Wall Street Journal, CNN or the Post instead, Reuters said.