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默多克为何退出中国?

2013-6-15 10:55 malonetony
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摘要: The timing of Rupert Murdoch's quest to take full control of British Sky Broadcasting is perhaps a fitting end to the News Corp chairman's nearly two-decades-long love affair with China. 鲁珀特̶ ...

The timing of Rupert Murdoch's quest to take full control of British Sky Broadcasting is perhaps a fitting end to the News Corp chairman's nearly two-decades-long love affair with China.

鲁珀特•默多克(Rupert Murdoch)选择在此刻竞购英国天空广播公司(BskyB)的全部股权,或许正好为这位新闻集团(News Corp)董事长与中国近二十年的恩恩怨怨画上句号。

No single action by Mr Murdoch poisoned his China expansion plans as much as his celebratory speech in 1993 to toast the turnround of BSkyB.

在默多克的所有言行中,若要论对公司在华扩张计划的损害,应以他在1993年为庆祝天空广播扭亏为盈而发表的演讲为最。

“Advances in the technology of telecommunications have proved an unambiguous threat to totalitarian regimes everywhere,” Mr Murdoch said then – the same year he purchased a majority stake in Star TV in Hong Kong.

“事实证明,电讯技术的进步对所有威权政府都是一种明确威胁,”当时默多克如是说——同年,他收购了香港星空传媒(Star TV)的多数股权。

“Fax machines enable dissidents to bypass state-controlled print media. Direct-dial telephony makes it difficult for a state to control interpersonal voice communications. And satellite broadcasting makes it possible for information-hungry residents of many closed societies to bypass state- controlled television channels.”

“传真机让异见人士得以避开政府控制的印刷媒体。直拨电话使政府难以控制人与人之间的声音交流。而卫星广播让许多封闭社会中渴求信息的民众能够绕过国家控制的电视频道。”

References to fax machines unintentionally evoked images of the student-led democracy movement in China in 1989, whose participants had organised their actions by fax. News coverage of the crackdown was beamed around the world via satellite by CNN.

他提到传真机,这无意间让人回想起1989年学生主导的民主运动的画面,当时的参与者就是通过传真组织行动的。而有关当局镇压行动的新闻报道,则通过CNN的卫星传遍了世界。

By the time the Chinese government banned individual ownership of satellite dishes a month later, Mr Murdoch had realised he had made a mistake and embarked on a quest to appease regulators.

默多克发表上述言论的一个月后,中国政府下令禁止个人安装卫星天线,此时默多克意识到自己犯了错误,并开始试图平息监管机构的怒气。

By 1994, he had agreed to pull the BBC World channel from Star after a controversial documentary about Mao Zedong. “The BBC was driving them nuts. It's not worth it,” he said at the time.

到了1994年,默多克同意将英国广播电视公司(BBC)的世界频道(World channel)撤出星空。因为一部关于毛泽东的纪录片引发了争议。“BBC把他们气疯了。这不值得,”默多克当时表示。

This perceived kowtowing to China continued to haunt Mr Murdoch – he was still criticised for it during his battle to take over Dow Jones three years ago. But over the next decade, News Corp strove to get something in return.

在外界看来,默多克这是在向中国政府卑躬屈膝,而此事也一直困扰着这位媒体大亨——3年后,在收购道琼斯(Dow Jones)的争夺战中,他还因此事遭到抨击。但接下来的10年,新闻集团的努力获得了一些回报。

In 2002, Star TV was granted approval for its new local unit, Xing Kong, to broadcast in Chinese to some selected areas and households in Guangdong, the province adjacent to Hong Kong.

2002年,星空传媒的新本土子频道——星空卫视中文台——获准在广东省的部分地区与家庭落地。

At the time, Star TV executives were quite clear that they hoped the company's “landing rights” could be expanded to the rest of the country.

当时,星空传媒的管理层清楚表明,希望未来公司的“落地权”能够扩展到内地其它地区。

But that never happened. Although hopes were raised further in 2004 when Star TV was allowed to launch China's first fully foreign-owned ad company and Beijing later moved to allow foreign investment in TV content production, Mr Murdoch started hitting one brick wall after another.

但他们未能如愿。尽管2004年星空传媒获准成立了中国第一家完全为外资控股的广告公司,稍后中国政府也允许外资参与电视节目的内容制作,希望似乎进一步加大,但接下来默多克开始一次又一次地碰壁。

In 2005, Beijing probed one of Star TV's agents for allegedly providing access to the company's satellite channels to people not authorised to receive it.

2005年,中国政府对星空传媒的一家代理机构展开调查,据称该公司向未获授权的用户提供星空卫视频道。

The same year, a deal with Qinghai Satellite TV, a provincial state-owned broadcaster, which could have opened a back door for News Corp into the nationwide market, was shot down by central government regulators.

同年,星空传媒与国有青海卫视的一项协议被政府监管部门否决,该协议本可以为新闻集团进入全国市场开启一扇“后门”。

That was when Mr Murdoch started running out of patience. A month after the Qinghai deal soured, he accused the Chinese government of being “quite paranoid”.

就是从那时起,默多克开始逐渐失去耐心。与青海卫视的协议告吹一个月后,他公然指责中国政府“疑心太重”。

The next year, News Corp started a quiet retreat. First, it halved its stake in Phoenix Satellite Television, a Hong Kong-based network controlled by Chinese magnate Liu Changle, by selling 20 per cent of the company to China Mobile, the state-owned telecoms operator.

第二年,新闻集团开始悄然撤离。首先,该集团将香港凤凰卫视(Phoenix Satellite Television) 20%的股权卖给了国有电信运营商中国移动(China Mobile),使自己所持的股权减半。中国传媒大亨刘长乐是凤凰卫视的控股股东。

Bruce Dover, a former News Corp executive, recounted in his book Rupert Murdoch's China Adventures how Mr Murdoch had signalled his cooling feelings for China as early as the spring of 2007.

前新闻集团高管布鲁斯•多佛(Bruce Dover)在他的《默多克的中国冒险》(Rupert's Adventures in China)一书中回忆称,默多克早在2007年春天就表示,自己对中国的***已经逐渐降温。

“We don't do very well in China,” Mr Dover recalled Mr Murdoch telling analysts. “It is a very difficult market for outsiders.”

“我们在中国做得不太好,”多佛记得默多克曾这样对分析师说。“外来者在这个市场很难有所作为。”

Last year, News Corp restructured its Asian Star TV business, reorganising into one Indian and one Greater Chinese company while making sharp job cuts at its Hong Kong office. The move shifted the company's focus in Asia from China to India, a market in which it has been doing much better.

去年,新闻集团对亚洲星空传媒业务进行了重组,将其划分为印度和大中华区两家子公司,并在香港办事处大举裁员。此举将公司在亚洲的发展重心从中国转移到了印度。新闻集团在印度的业绩一直出色得多。

Analysts say News Corp's step to cede majority control in Xing Kong confirms this strategy.

分析师认为,新闻集团出让星空卫视控股权的举动,进一步证实了其退出中国的策略。

Vivek Couto, executive director at the research firm Media Partners Asia, said: “It makes sense, given that business in China was less than $50m at the peak and revenues in India are more than 10 times that figure.”

研究机构Media Partners Asia执行董事维韦克•库托(Vivek Couto)表示:“此举合情合理。因为即便在鼎盛时期,(新闻集团)在中国的业务总额也不到5000万美元,而印度市场的收入超过这个数字的十倍。”

译者/何黎

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