Murdoch offers `censor' to China
Thursday 29 December 1994
According to a Hong Kong newspaper, Mr Murdoch made the offer during a visit to Peking this month. This followed a trip by executives of News Data Communications, a subsidiary of Mr Murdoch's News Corporation that manufactures the technology.
Star TV declined to comment on the report, apart from confirming that Mr Murdoch had been in Hong Kong before Christmas for a regular inspection of the network's operations. However, News Datacom said the company had been in discussions with Chinese television about introducing pay-TV technology such as that used by BSkyB in Britain and DirectTV in the US.
"We do not provide systems which censor programmes," a spokeswoman said. "If Rupert Murdoch has offered News Datacom's technology to the Chinese, then he has done so because the Chinese wish to introduce pay-TV."
Industry sources say existing pay-TV technology could easily be adapted to enable previewing by censors, a prospect with obvious attractions to a government anxious to maintain tight news control. Mr Murdoch, however, is known to be more interested in finding new outlets for his lucrative film and entertainment services, and the technology would prove just as effective at fending off the cultural corruption that the Chinese government fears Western entertainment would bring.
A master control unit in Peking could receive Star TV's subscription channels. Programmes could then be distributed to 31 provincial centres equipped with decoders supplied by News Datacom. From there, the programmes would be fed to local cable television networks.
Mr Murdoch is eager for his pay-TV empire to tap into China's vast earning potential. He bought two-thirds of Star TV from Li Ka-shing, a Hong Kong property developer, in July 1993.
Ever since warning last year that technological advances had "proved an unambiguous threat to totalitarian regimes everywhere", Mr Murdoch has been trying to rehabilitate himself with the Chinese. Earlier this year, he admitted he had dropped BBC World Service Television from the Far Eastern part of Star TV to placate Peking.
- 4 #JeSuisEd: People share photos of themselves eating awkwardly in solidarity with Labour leader
- 5 Women think Irish men are the sexiest, survey finds
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Mysterious 'X-Files' sounds heard miles above the Earth
Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
Who should I vote for in the general election? Take The Independent's interactive quiz to find out which party is the right choice for you
General election: Conservatives mocked online over Boris Johnson's claim of SNP 'jockalypse'
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
General Election 2015: Sturgeon claims Scots 'appalled' by Ed Miliband's refusal to work with SNP
£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...
£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...