To harness the world’s second-largest population of Internet users, News Corp Chairman Rupert Murdoch is looking to expand his social networking powerhouse MySpace to China. According to the Associated Press, Murdoch has sent his Chinese-born wife to meet with the company’s executives and discuss a Chinese version of MySpace.
Murdoch has said that a Chinese MySpace would incorporate local partners who would be granted about fifty percent ownership to ensure that the content was suitable for a Chinese audience. Because China’s communist government tries to block Internet material that it considers subversive or pornographic, News Corp. and other companies like Yahoo and Google have encountered political obstacles in trying to expand their businesses. Murdoch hopes that by presenting MySpace to China differently and allowing local partners to deal with complaints will avoid such problems.
“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. “I have sent my wife across there because she understands the language.”