Rupert Murdoch's China Adventures: How the World's Most Powerful Media Mogul Lost a Fortune and Found a Wife

Overview

Rupert Murdoch, media mogul and global celebrity billionaire, is well-known for his impulsive actions and enormous deals. Prior to his recent takeover of the Dow Jones, Murdoch spent years working to gain a foothold in China. Rupert Murdoch's China Adventures tells this scintillating story, offering insight into Murdoch's infamous News Corp.

Beginning in the mid 80s, Murdoch quickly discovered that gaining media access to China was a whole different ballgame than anywhere else ...

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Overview

Rupert Murdoch, media mogul and global celebrity billionaire, is well-known for his impulsive actions and enormous deals. Prior to his recent takeover of the Dow Jones, Murdoch spent years working to gain a foothold in China. Rupert Murdoch's China Adventures tells this scintillating story, offering insight into Murdoch's infamous News Corp.

Beginning in the mid 80s, Murdoch quickly discovered that gaining media access to China was a whole different ballgame than anywhere else in the world. Unlike in the West, the Chinese Communist leadership didn't need the support of the media to retain power, robbing him of his usual leverage, and their ability to regulate and control business was close to absolute. The Propaganda Department was given a watching brief on Murdoch's activities, and he was kept well away from the upper echelons of power.

But despite the barriers put in his way, Murdoch's News Corp has still had a profound effect, transforming staid Chinese television into a popular entertainment medium and effectively connecting China to the world through the internet. Insider Bruce Dover paints a personal picture of Murdoch at work, with telling anecdotes of the billionaire in his prime, and recounts how he fatefully introduced his boss to Wendi Deng, Murdoch's future wife. This fascinating book is engagingly written and peppered with entertaining tales of the trials and tribulations of an eccentric billionaire and his interactions with the Chinese government.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Bruce Dover offers a smart read on a big bet by Mr. Murdoch that confounded him: trying to reach China's 380 million television households with Fox-style news and entertainment."—The New York Times

"A new biography of Rupert Murdoch just out in Australia and Britain wasn't set to hit these shores until July, but buzz from overseas has U.S. book retailers clamoring for an earlier release. Why all the fuss? Rupert Murdoch's China Adventures: How the World's Most Powerful Media Mogul Lost a Fortune and Found a Wife is an inside look at Murdoch's forays into China-and early courtship of wife Wendi Deng."—Fortune

"The disastrous end to Murdoch's China Adventure is a case study in how not to enter a market as complex as China and, for Murdoch's many detractors, will provide the guilty pleasure of Schadenfreude. [...] It's a good thing for Dover that Murdoch, so he claims, never reads about himself."—Shelf Awareness

"A rare insider's account of how the Chinese got the better of a businessman who usually gets what he wants."—Economist

New York Times
..the wily Communists stole Mr. Murdoch's recipe and spied on him, and he paid for it...Outfoxed!
Shelf Awareness
Despite Murdoch's money, self-assurance and persistence, none of the concessions he made to Chinese bureaucrats worked, and his expensive China strategy collapsed. The disastrous end to Murdoch's China Adventure is a case study in how not to enter a market as complex as China and, for Murdoch's many detractors, will provide the guilty pleasure of Schadenfreude....It's a good thing for Dover that Murdoch, so he claims, never reads about himself.
Fortune
The book's primary focus is Murdoch's business efforts in China, where he has never quite found his way . . .
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804839945
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/9/2008
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Bruce Dover was in charge of News Corp's business development in China from 1992 to 1998. Dover established a media consultancy in Australia in 2003 before being appointed Chief Executive of ABC TV's Australia Network in 2007.

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Table of Contents


Author's Note     9
Obsession     11
Whoops     23
Deng Rong! The King Is Dead     31
Strange Bedfellows     41
Phoenix Rising     51
ChinaByte     61
Accidental Heroes     73
The Devil's Disciple     83
Vicissitudes     95
Absolution     105
Enter Wendi     115
Thanks a Million     127
Drowning, Not Waving     139
London Calling     151
Little Murdoch     161
Sons of the Patriarchs     171
Reality Bites     183
Changing of the Guard     193
Land of the Giants     203
Hitting the Wall     217
The Wendi Factor     229
The End of the Affair     241
Index     251
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 15, 2008

    Snoozer

    This book is a snoozer; it contains no nitty gritty. Murdoch lost $2 billion+ on his ventures in China, not to mention the many millions he lost on investments under the guidance/introductions/direction from Deng (since early on in their marriage). It struck me as obvious that there isn't much talent in News Corp, certainly not in their China group. This is particularly odd given their stock performance. Perhaps Deng stood out because she provided the entertainment amidst office cronies who spend too much time in the office. The fact remains Deng hasn't accomplished anything and still hasn't. Cost to Murdoch from marrying Deng = 1) $2 billion+ in China; 2) $100 million+ in other investments; 3) $1 billion+ in divorce payout to Anna Murdoch; 4) lost of hope in conquering China before he dies; 5) universal embarassment and ridicule - apparently, Murdoch didn't even know Deng had been married before until Wall Street Journal published its profile on Deng in November 2000; and 6) great deal of family discord. Clearly, Dover got his job from Murdoch as the No. 2 man in China chiefly because he does not offend. Throughout the book, I found Dover's writing to be painfully polite. On his writings about Deng, he comes across as a stupid white man with a very limited understanding of Asian women - in Deng's case, about the games Mainland Chinese women play. Perhaps Dover may offer insight to readers who know next to nothing about how things work in Asia, particularly Mainland China and Hong Kong. The reports from the Star TV-Hong Kong office about Deng which were published in Hong Kong media did not paint a flattering portrait of Deng. She came across as useless (although ambitious) and everyone thought she was after Gareth Chang - Deng made it an open secret in that office that she was definitely available. After marrying Murdoch, Dover's book indicated Deng had a hand in getting him fired. My impression is that Deng wanted to prevent Chang from giving Murdoch any indication that she had been after him before landing Murdoch. Altogether, if you know about how things work in Asia and if you understand Asians, this book is not worth the read.

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