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Rupert Murdoch Plans Chinese Version of MySpace

Reported by Marie Therese - September 20, 2006 -

Last year Rupert Murdoch purchased the extremely popular social networking site MySpace and yesterday's Financial Times reported that he plans to launch a version of the website within the restrictive parameters set forth by the Chinese government. “We have to make MySpace a very Chinese site,” Mr Murdoch said at a media conference organised by Goldman Sachs. “I have sent my wife [Wendy Deng] across there because she understands the language.”

From the 9/18/06 edition of FT:

[Murdoch] said his wife, Ms Deng, who is not an officer of the company, was currently in China with senior News Corp executives trying to find a way for MySpace to enter the Chinese market without running up against political obstacles and the “heavy weather” that internet groups Google and Yahoo have encountered.

Mr Murdoch said MySpace in China was likely to have local partners, who would own around 50 per cent.

This would ensure the content was more suitable for a Chinese audience, and Mr Murdoch also said it would mean his local partners could deal with complaints.

Mr Murdoch has been trying to expand his media group in the Chinese mainland, but admitted last year he was hitting a brick wall with the authorities over foreign media groups’ control.

The Chinese authorities continue to restrict the free exchange of information and access to news, despite rapid liberalisation of the economy.

COMMENT

Rupert Murdoch has been seeking to expand his business interests into China for many years. Smart man. Now that the United States doesn't make anything anymore - thanks to the outsourcing of 3 million jobs under the aegis of the Bush administration - good old Rupert realizes, I am sure, that he'd better hedge his bets and establish a foothold in the country whose growth rate has been nothing short of spectacular.

I have long thought that the true reason for the Crash of 1929 was that the world markets had to readjust to the ascendancy of the United States as a manufacturing behemoth. The financial gurus of the day missed a key point, i.e., that the days of the European dominance of industrial production was over. The European markets had to cede economic control to the currency used in the brash, new industrial America.

I keep wondering if we haven't arrived at a similar point in history, one in which the dominance of the dollar recedes as the currency of the new industrial giant - China - moves into the forefront.

If I'm right, I certainly hope that those who control the money supply are ready for the switch this time.

Otherwise, we're headed towards another devastating worldwide correction along the lines of Black Tuesday.