When China's reformers eased open the communist giant's doors to the world, they found Rupert Murdoch standing outside in his best suit with a bunch of flowers. Used to being courted by those in power, Murdoch made a clumsy suitor. If the billionaire media mogul thought he could swagger into China and add the world's biggest audience to his News Corp empire, he quickly discovered that things worked differently in the Middle Kingdom. The communist leadership kept the 'ultimate capitalist' at arm's length.
Nonetheless, amid many blunders and much wasted money, News Corp managed to connect China to the world through the Internet and to transform its staid television service into a popular-entertainment medium. But was Beijing simply using Murdoch to help the country modernise and to rehabilitate its image in the wake of Tiananmen Square?
Bruce Dover, Murdoch's man on the ground in China for much of the 1990s, delivers a rollicking insider's account of doing deals at the highest level of business and politics. In this intimate portrait of the impulsive billionaire in his prime, Dover describes fatefully introducing his boss to Wendi Deng, the woman who would become his second wife - News Corp's future has a Chinese face after all.