The maniacal Chinese tycoon Chen Guangbiao was rejected in his offer to buy the New York Times (NYSE: NYT), so now he's going to ask whether the Wall Street Journal is for sale.
His strongest qualification for owning an American newspaper? “I am very good at working with Jews,” the entrepreneur said, according to the South China Morning Post.
Chen, a Chinese recycling tycoon listed among China’s top 400 richest people, made headlines recently by announcing his intentions to purchase the legendary New York Times. When the attempt was rebuffed by the paper, Chen decided one American newspaper is just as good as another.
"I am going to talk to the Wall Street Journal and find out if it's for sale," he said in an interview with Sinovision, a New York-based Chinese television station, on Wednesday, reaffirming his plan to "buy an American newspaper."
Chen added that he knows many American newspapers are owned by Jews, so that makes him the right man for the job as he has “equally competent IQ and EQ” as Jewish people.
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His interest in purchasing the Times stemmed from his desire to work on “rebuilding its credibility and influence” by reforming its award-winning coverage of China, Chen said, but he admitted that he might have ruined his chances with the Times by leaking the proposal to the media.
“I am entirely to blame for this,” Chen said, adding that his interest in the purchase was “serious.” An “interested shareholder” of the New York Times had apparently cancelled a scheduled meeting with Chen due to excessive media attention, the South China Morning Post reported.
Chen has emerged as a fascinating if showy personality on both sides of the Pacific, for pulling stunts such as handing out cash to victims of China’s 2007 earthquake and selling “canned fresh air” to residents of Beijing on days when the city was immersed in smog.
A photo that appeared to be Chen’s English-language business card has gone viral on Weibo, China’s most popular microblogging site. On the card that he has been handing out to reporters in New York, Chen lists his credentials as “Most Influential Person of China,” “China Moral Leader" and “Most Charismatic Philanthropist of China,” among other titles. His Chinese business card bears the same honors.