Testing Beijing's Limits

In the quest for China's lucrative--and elusive--TV market, did Murdoch bend the rules?

Rupert Murdoch's relationship with Beijing started on the wrong foot. The Australian-born mogul declared in 1993 that satellite-television networks, like the Hong Kong--based Star TV venture that he had purchased, would pose "an unambiguous threat to totalitarian regimes everywhere." Since then he has danced more carefully to Beijing's tune. Soon after his provocative comment, China's leaders insisted that he remove the BBC from Star TV's menu of channels after it aired a program critical of Chairman Mao Zedong. Murdoch complied, and has gone further since. On his orders, News Corp.'s publishing arm, HarperCollins, dropped a book written by Chris Patten, Hong Kong's...

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