I Ching Offers Insight into Murdoch's Beijing Billet

22 December 2004

As Mao Zedong fades into the mists of Chinese history, so another legendary figure advances on Beijing - not this time from the revolutionary North but from the wolfish West.

Farewell Chairman Mao; hail Chairman Murdoch. For it is written that the NewsCorp nabob is poised to enter the confines of China's historic enclave of power.

According to the South China Morning Post (once a News Corporation property), the Australian born media mogul is building a home within Beijing's Forbidden City. It is constructed in the Siheyuan style - a traditional Chinese courtyard house noted for its clear hierarchic order and deemed the embodiment of Confucian philosophy.

Although NewsCorp declined to comment on its honcho's home, the report appears well informed as to the vital statistics. Covering twenty-two thousand square feet, the Murdoch mansion has two underground storeys and is built with traditional grey bricks and roof tiles, including some materials from the original house on the site.

Murdoch, presumably untroubled by such minutiae as mortgages, is also buying a new twenty-room residence on Fifth Avenue New York for which he reportedly paid a record $44 million (€32.9m; £22.6m).

News of the tycoon's eastward emigration has given rise to much speculation. Some believe that in the autumn of his years, he is attracted by the mellow appeal of Zen philosophy. Others are less gullible.

A permanent base in China - the globe's fastest growing market - would make pragmatic, strategic and personal sense for Murdoch and his third wife, the Chinese-born Wendi Deng.

An MBA alumnus of Yale University and former executive of her husband's Hong Kong based Star TV operation, Deng is known to advise him on Chinese strategies.

Furthermore, the People's Republic is opening up bigtime to foreign media corporations [WAMN: 25-Nov-04]. Personal residence in the power centre of this 21st-century Klondyke could confer some mighty useful advantages.

For other interpretations of the mogul's motives, the I Ching is as reliable a source as any.

Data sourced from Telegraph.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff