City & Business: Eastern promise
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.
Exclusive: Woolwich attacker named 'Mujahid' was known to banned Islamist organisation Al Muhajiroun
That's some guestlist! Stunning images show huge dynastic wedding between Ultra-Orthodox Jewish families which attracted 25,000 guests
'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
World news in pictures
Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, the mother-of-two hailed as a hero for confronting Woolwich attackers, thought: 'better me than a child'
- 1 Exclusive: Woolwich attacker named 'Mujahid' was known to banned Islamist organisation Al Muhajiroun
- 2 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 3 Grace Dent: I’m not sure how these people can avoid being called ‘bigots’. And the more ‘civilised’, the worse they are
- 4 Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, the mother-of-two hailed as a hero for confronting Woolwich attackers, thought: 'better me than a child'
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL will seek to exploit this evil crime for their own evil ends
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.