News Corp to trim China TV stake

Image caption,
Rupert Murdoch's News Corp appears to be moving its Asia focus away from China

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation is selling a controlling stake in three Chinese television channels.

It will offload the shares to China Media Capital, a private equity fund backed by China's second largest media company, Shanghai Media Group.

No value was put on the stakes in Xing Kong, Xing Kong International and Channel Mainland China.

The move is seen by some as News' winding down its interests in China's tightly controlled media market.


Along with rivals such as Times Warner and Viacom, Mr Murdoch's company had hoped to attract mass audiences in China when it launched television channels there in the 1990s.

But besides restrictions on content, Beijing also limited distribution primarily to Guangdong province in the south - limiting firms' abilities to attract audiences in other parts of the world's most populous country.

Last year News overhauled Star TV, its Asia flagship based in Hong Kong, with many seeing this as an acknowledgement of the firm's growing emphasis on India.

After two decades of of operating in China, News Corp had "done the inevitable" said Vivek Coto, an analyst with Medias partners Asia.

"They see the best option to grow in the market is to make sure the business is in control of local hands."

News Corp includes Fox broadcast and cable networks, 20th Century Fox film studios, Harper Collins book publisher, and newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal and the Times.

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