Friday, September 22, 2006

Send in Wendy

BusinessWeek suggests that Murdoch is using his Chinese secret weapon - his wife Wendi Deng - to smooth the path for launching MySpace in China. Given that the Chinese government still severely restricts the Rotary Club because of its effectiveness in organising people outside the mechanism of the Communist Party, one wonders how enthusiastically they will welcome a Chinese version of MySpace. Judging from the computers of my teenage boys, it has supplanted e-mail as the preferred mode of communications among the next generation and, given its capacity to link ah hoc groups quickly within a rich media environment, must terrify the Mandarins in Beijing.

Still, Murdoch has already proven his critics wrong on a number of counts with MySpace, so maybe this will finally be the successful sally into the Chinese market on which he's been working for 15+ years now.

Update: we now see that this has been quite widely reported including this piece in the FT which says “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 across there because she understands the language.” He reportedly told the conference "MySpace in China was likely to have local partners, who would own around 50 per cent". Good idea to flag your negotiating position to the Chinese regulators Rupert.

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