Jackie Chan Ridiculed In Hong Kong For Pro-China Stance
Hong Kong action icon Jackie Chan faces a backlash in his hometown for joining China’s top political advisory body. Hong Kong remains suspicious of the mainland and many believe Chan was selected to appear at the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference because of his visibility. Professor Sonny Ho, co-director at the Centre for Greater China Studies, describes the conference’s “united front” strategy as a campaign to promote a strong and peaceful homeland, unified with Taiwan. China’s growing clout has seen actors from Hong Kong and Macau drafted into patriotic movies that glorify the country’s past including the early Communist Party era. Chan’s appointment to the conference met derision online for his pro-Beijing stances such as calling for limits on the right to protest. Beijing is blamed for everything from political interference to rising property prices and shortages of baby formula. “Yet another movie star turns into a CPPCC member” one user posted on the Sina Weibo microblog site. “Add another big dope to a veritable congregation of big dopes,” another user commented on the website of the South China Morning Post. The strictly-for-show conference convened Sunday and will be followed Tuesday by the National People’s Congress that will confirm China’s once-in-a-decade power transfer that will see new Communist Party boss Xi Jinping installed as Chinese president, taking over from Hu Jintao.
News Corp. To Unload Sky TV New Zealand Stake
Sky TV is the BSkyB of New Zealand, a richly profitable pay-TV platform with a near monopoly. So News Corp’s decision to unload its 44% stake in the publicly traded company to institutional investors for about $A815 million ($830 million) caught the market off guard. One Australian analyst said the disposal squares with a recent briefing by News which foreshadowed simplifying its businesses ahead of the split into two companies later this year. As News’ only asset in New Zealand, the company evidently didn’t see a strategic benefit in retaining its stake. Michael Miller, regional director of News Limited, has resigned from the board of Sky. – Don Groves
Kim Dotcom Suffers Court Setback
Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has lost a significant round in his battle against extradition to the U.S. A New Zealand court ruled Friday that the U.S. does not have to share all its evidence against the German national for alleged online piracy, fraud and money laundering. The New Zealand Court of Appeal overturned a lower court ruling that the FBI must disclose all its evidence to allow Dotcom to mount a defense. The FBI accuses Dotcom of leading a group that netted $175 million since 2005 by copying and distributing copyrighted content without authorization. The appellate court said a summary of the evidence would suffice but that New Zealand courts and government could seek more information if they are not satisfied. Dotcom maintains that Megaupload, which was shut down in January 2012, simply provided online storage services and should not be held responsible for stored content. Dotcom’s lawyers are considering an appeal to New Zealand’s Supreme Court. Since the initial raid of Dotcom’s property, courts have ruled that the search warrants were illegal and have unfrozen some of Dotcom’s assets plus relaxed restrictions of travel. The extradition hearing for Dotcom and three other defendants is scheduled for August.