BEIJING – News Corp. (NWS) chairman Rupert Murdoch says his Chinese-born wife, Wendi Deng, is in China with the company's executives to help launch a Chinese version of its popular MySpace social networking Web site, a newspaper reported Wednesday.
Murdoch, speaking in New York, said the company is trying to find a way to enter the Chinese market without running into political obstacles and the "heavy weather" that Google Inc. (GOOG) and Yahoo Inc. (YHOO) have encountered, the London-based Financial Times said (click here to read article).
Murdoch bought MySpace last year. The site allows users to share text, pictures and video.
• Click here to visit FOXNews.com's Home Computing Center.
"We have to make MySpace a very Chinese site," Murdoch was quoted as saying Tuesday at a conference organized by investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) "I have sent my wife across there because she understands the language."
Murdoch said MySpace in China was likely to have local partners, who would own about 50 per cent, the Financial Times said. He said that would ensure the content was suitable for a Chinese audience, while the partners would deal with complaints.
News Corp. has tried to expand in China but has been stymied by restrictions on foreign media ownership.
China has the world's second-largest population of Internet users after the United States, with 123 million people online.
The communist government promotes Internet use for education and business but tries to block the public from seeing material considered subversive or pornographic. Dozens of people have been jailed for posting political essays online.
Google, Yahoo and other companies have been criticized by human rights activists for cooperating with government efforts to censor Internet content.
MySpace is adding about 1.5m new users every week and recently surpassed 100 million registered users, according to News Corp.
FOXNews.com and MySpace.com are both owned and operated by News Corporation.