City & Business: Eastern promise
Sunday 06 March 1994
From tiny, unpretentious offices in Hong Kong, Mr Murdoch presently devotes himself full-time to the task of turning round Star TV, the Asian satellite television service he took over last summer. With his mind focused on the task in hand, I doubt Mr Murdoch cares very much about the impact of the Sunday Times story on British business - which now faces a Malaysian trade embargo. But he would be highly exercised about its potential to damage Star.
Like many countries in the Far East, Malaysia is closed to Star; it could be argued that Mr Murdoch loses little if his newspapers cause offence. But to get the most out of his new business, Mr Murdoch must eventually persuade these markets to open their doors to him. China with its vast potential for satellite remains deeply hostile; only last week a new law came into force banning the use of satellite dishes.
It's possible these days to buy workable dishes not much bigger than a hand, so there's plenty of scope for illicit reception of Star. In practice however not many Chinese are going to risk imprisonment for the privilege; if Mr Murdoch is ever going to make headway, he will have to persuade the authorities to ease their stance. Stories of the Sunday Times variety send out all the wrong signals to edgy political leaders; if Mr Murdoch can accuse them of corruption through his newspapers, what might he do through his TV interests.
Mr Murdoch still believes Star is going to prove the best investment he ever made, although he admits it's going to be an uphill struggle. In calculating how much to pay for Star, China was always in for nothing - icing on the cake if ever it came good - he insists. The main target markets in the short term are Taiwan and India. Medium-term, it's the Philippines and Indonesia. Only very long-term, after the turn of the century, does China enter the equation. Who knows what the political landscape will look like by then? Perhaps he's got it right, but I'm still sceptical. Is hard to believe a canny Hong Kong businessman like Li Ka Shing, who knows more about China and other Far Eastern markets than Mr Murdoch ever will, would have sold out if the business really had so much potential.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
iJobs Money & Business
$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer Office...
$125 - $225 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advi...
Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...
Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...