SCMP Spinning Off NFT Business Into New Firm ‘Artifact Labs’

The newspaper has found a brisk business in selling NFTs of its historical front pages, clearing $127,000 in its last auction.

AccessTimeIconMar 16, 2022 at 6:06 a.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 6:56 p.m. UTC

Media organizations are always looking for new sources of revenue beyond selling ads against print copy. Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post (SCMP) appears to have found one in selling non-fungible tokens (NFT) of its front pages from historical events, and has such confidence in the business that it is spinning it off into its own division called Artifact Labs.

  • The SCMP’s NFTs are front pages from historical events such as the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997, the Avian flu outbreak, the Asian Financial Crisis and the death of the U.K.'s Princess Diana.
  • Its NFT collection exists on Flow, a blockchain built by Dapper Labs, which also powers NBA’s Top Shot collection.
  • Buyers can bid on a specific NFT from a historical event, or buy a mystery box of front pages from selected events.
  • In its last auction, the newspaper sold over 1,000 NFTs and brought in approximately $127,000.
  • “SCMP’s creation of ‘Artifact Labs’ to explore the potential of blockchain applications for media is a transformational step for our 118-year old organization,” said SCMP Chairman Joe Tsai.
  • Tsai is also the co-founder and executive vice-chairman of Alibaba (BABA).
  • SCMP will continue to be a shareholder in Artifact Labs and will seek third-party capital to help fund the company’s growth, according to a press release.
  • In late December, Tsai tweeted: “I like crypto,” hinting at the future expansion of his businesses into crypto. As mainland China-based Alibaba can’t get deeply involved in crypto, SCMP’s foray into NFTs is a logical step for his crypto expansion.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.