The Los Angeles Times looks at Rupert Murdoch’s treatment of MySpace in China as a harbinger of what’s to come if Murdoch’s bid for the Wall Street Journal succeeds. The article implies that Murdoch’s personal control of the venture, through the involvement of his Chinese-born wife Wendi Deng, and the censorship of MySpace China does not bode well:
Like most other Western media companies, News Corp. has been frustrated by the Chinese government’s reluctance to open its airwaves or theaters to outsiders. Internet companies are subject to less regulation, so Murdoch hopes MySpace will grow on its own merits, enabling him to promote other News Corp. properties while showing the Chinese government he can be a trusted partner. [Full text]
See also a lengthy examination of Murdoch and his potential takeover of the Wall Street Journal in the New Yorker, which contains several paragraphs about China, and a New York Times report on Murdoch’s expanding empire, which doesn’t mention China at all.
UPDATE: As a follow-up to yesterday’s article about Murdoch in the New York Times, Joseph Kahn has written a lengthy piece solely about Murdoch’s efforts in China:
Mr. Murdoch has flattered Communist Party leaders and done business with their children. His Fox News network helped China’s leading state broadcaster develop a news Web site. He joined hands with the Communist Youth League, a power base in the ruling party, in a risky television venture, his China managers and advisers say. [Full text]