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China tycoon sets sights on Wall Street Journal

Rebuffed by The New York Times, Chinese tycoon Chen Guangbiao has not been put off in his pursuit of securing a stake in a U.S. newspaper.

According to media reports, the recycling magnate is interested in buying The Wall Street Journal.

"I am going to talk to The Wall Street Journal and find out if it's for sale," Chen said in an interview with Sinovision, a New York-based Chinese television station, on Wednesday.

(Read more: Chinese recycling tycoon says he wants to buy the New York Times)

Chinese billionaire and philanthropist Chen Guangbiao.
STR | AFP | Getty Images
Chinese billionaire and philanthropist Chen Guangbiao.

While the Wall Street Journal wrote its own article on Chen's visit to New York, there appeared to be no immediate statement from the newspaper on whether it had been approached by Chen regarding a possible stake.

Chen, who last week showed interest in buying a $1 billion stake in The New York Times, says he is no longer pursing a deal.

Chen was reported saying that a meeting with a small New York Times shareholder this week had been cancelled amid media attention after he had expressed an interest in acquiring a stake in the U.S. newspaper last week.

(Read more: Get ready for some big media deals in 2014)

His intention to acquire a stake in The New York Times has attracted much attention because of a promise to repair the newspaper's image in China.

China has blocked The New York Times website since the newspaper published a story in late 2012 on the family wealth of former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

In the interview with Sinovision, Chen said he was aware that many U.S. newspapers were Jewish-owned. He said he was ready for the job because he had "equally competent IQ and EQ" compared with Jews, adding: "I am very good at working with Jews."

Chen, somewhat of an eccentric figure and a celebrity in China, is famous for helping victims of the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake, while last year he handed out cans of "fresh air" during a bad spell of pollution.

(Read more: Chinese millionaire fights pollution with thin air)

And the tycoon, ranked as one of China's top 400 richest people, was in the spotlight for another reason this week.

Chen reportedly handed out business cards to the press in New York in which he referred to himself as a host of things. The list included: "Most Influential Person in China", "China Earthquake Rescue Hero" and "Most Well-known and Beloved Chinese Role Model."

Images of the business card went viral on Chinese micro-blogging website Weibo and stoked a flurry of comments on Twitter. Here's one:

— By CNBC.Com's Dhara Ranasinghe; Follow her on Twitter @DharaCNBC

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