Saturday, 19 September 2015

The Chinese Riddle

Rupert Murdoch with Xi Jinping in the Great Hall of the People
The Chinese like to talk in riddles, particularly their leaders.

Chinese President Xi Jinping received Rupert Murdoch in the Great Hall of the People today. The News Corp chairman probably wanted to pay his respects in the hopes that he might get a sign that the ban would be lifted on his Wall Street Journal website.

Wen Jiabao's family's wealth was unraveled by the NYT
According to Xinhua Xi said: "[We] welcome foreign media and correspondents to cover China stories, introducing China's development to the world, and helping the world grasp the opportunities (afforded by) China's development."

What did Murdoch say in return?

He apparently said to China Daily: "We are very happy, in my newspapers and different news outlets, to try and foster more understanding between our two countries (the United States and China), I think not just on a formal basis, but also with people themselves."

What Xi and Murdoch said need to be taken with huge grains of salt because Chinese state media aren't the most accurate when reporting what people, particularly foreigners say. Their words can be massaged to fit the agenda, and here it's to give the impression that China is open for reporting.

Wendi Deng on the day her divorce was finalized in New York
But what of blocking not only WSJ, but also The New York Times, Reuters and Bloomberg sites?

And not issuing journalist visas to both The New York Times and Bloomberg apparently in retaliation for them publishing stories about senior leaders' families and their web of wealth?

Meanwhile it's interesting Murdoch is making this pilgrimage after his 14-year divorce from Wendi Deng, who wasn't able to help him crack the China market... or perhaps she had other things in mind?

In any case it's no illusion that Murdoch is keen for global media domination and China is the biggest market he has yet to conquer. Apparently 21st Century Fox is looking for a Chinese partner to build theme parks around popular films and TV shows like The Simpsons.

Will we see a Simpsons' themed park in China soon?
Will China let him in?

Does Xi's statement above give any indication?

No comments:

Post a Comment