Murdoch Throws in the Towel on China

The Fox media mogul has ended his 20-year campaign to conquer the Chinese media market

  • Share
  • Read Later

Like TIME on Facebook for more breaking news and current events from around the globe!

Drew Angerer / Bloomberg / Getty Images

Rupert Murdoch listens to President Barack Obama make remarks at the Wall Street Journal CEO Council annual meeting, at the Four Seasons Hotel, on November 19, 2013, in Washington.

Rupert Murdoch’s 21 Century Fox Group announced Thursday it had sold its remaining 47% stake in Star China TV, marking the effective end of a two-decade effort to establish a foothold in China’s media market.

By divesting in Star China TV, Murdoch unburdens himself of three 24-hour Mandarin language channels and a Chinese film library.

The withdrawal is significant for a man described by The New York Times in 2007 as “the Chinese leadership’s favorite foreign media baron,” but, as Quartz reports, Murdoch has encountered difficulties since he bought Star China TV for $1 billion in 1993.  Murdoch ran afoul of Chinese authorities with a speech delivered in London that year, in which he described satellite TV as an “unambiguous threat to totalitarian regimes.”

By 2005, he said he’d “hit a brick wall” in China, due to the government’s tightening restrictions on foreign media companies. Murdoch started selling off his stake in Star China TV in 2010. Thursday’s announcement marks the completion of that process.

Murdoch is refocusing his efforts on the sizeable Indian television market.