Wendi Deng may not be what she appears
News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch filed for divorce from his wife of 14 years Wendi Deng on June 13—a Chinese blog has now revealed that she may be a Chinese spy. The PanChinese blog claims Wendi has connections to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and its General Political Department (GPD).
On June 17, the PanChinese blog cited insider news from Beijing that Deng was contacted by the GPD of the Guangzhou branch in her freshman year of college to be trained as a spy in Hong Kong.
At that time, China had just regained control of Hong Kong from the U.K. The GPD was directly overseeing Phoenix Television, and also controlled Hong Kong newspapers by controlling their stock shares. She easily got an internship and later became the only woman in top management.
Suspicious tuition source for Yale University
According to the PanChinese blog’s investigation, Deng’s tuition source at Yale University is not clear. Her huge MBA tuition was provided by her boyfriend of five years. But he was not considered a wealthy man.
The PanChinese blog raises some questions: Why was it necessary for a Yale MBA student to cross the ocean to Hong Kong for an internship? The strangest thing was that she was able to afford a first class ticket in 1996, considering she was not a rich, second-generation Chinese.
Tracing Deng’s activities when she first lived in the U.S. produced even more mysteries.
Deng’s economics professor at the University of California, Ken Chapman, said: “She is an unusual woman, and her background information has never been clear-cut.
“She used a computer which was more advanced than any we’d seen. She went to very exotic places for vacation, and she traveled a lot during university holidays. She obviously had a lot of money.”
In 2008, The Washington Post quoted a U.S. official describing the espionage network of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which usually consists of professors, students, and academics, as a “smart vacuum cleaner.” It gathered a broad collection of information and confidentiality from the United States.
Media reports hidden reason for Murdoch’s divorce
In June 1999, Rupert Murdoch married Wendi Deng in New York after divorcing his wife of 32 years, Anna, which stunned everyone. Sixteen months later, The Wall Street Journal published an article documenting Wendi’s previous marriage and how she got her green card. Her marriage of 2 years and 7 months to Jake Cherry granted her access to the United States and ended soon after she gained her green card. According to the reporters, Rupert Murdoch was shocked by this article. One of The Wall Street Journal reporters said: “He didn’t know half of this stuff.”
In 2007, freelance reporter Eric Ellis interviewed insiders across three continents, reporting that Wendi Deng was born in Shandong province of China and grew up in city of Xuzhou. Her father was a mid-level cadre at the People’s Machinery Works. After graduating from high school, Wendi was admitted to the Guangzhou Medical College, where she met the Cherry couple. Jake tutored her in English, later divorced his wife and married Wendi. One part was the story was how Wendi first encountered Mr. Murdoch; she crashed a party in Hong Kong where Rupert was attending and intentionally spilled her glass of red wine on him to start a conversation. This is the most widely spread story of how they have met.
The earliest significant and public conflict in the 14-year marriage happened in 2006, when Murdoch announced that the two daughters he had with Deng (from artificial insemination) would not have the same company holdings and decision-making power as the other children from his previous two marriages.
Michael Wolff, Murdoch’s biographer, also revealed that Murdoch doubted the marriage, which had a 37-year age difference. Murdoch’s eldest son, Lachlan, says his father thinks marrying Wendi Deng was a mistake. They had been living separately for some time.
‘The Sydney Morning Herald’: Murdoch’s China dream shattered
For the past 20 years, Murdoch has been fascinated by China’s market potential. Media reports say that he has injected more than 20 billion dollars into China, but has lost at least half.
An article by The Sydney Morning Herald points out that China played a key role in Murdoch’s global strategy. To get benefits from CCP officials, he used his generosity in a speculative way, and even married a much younger Chinese woman. Murdoch has described his wife as “a huge help and advisor” in his business with China.
Even with his wife’s help in Murdoch’s business ventures in China, even though they had top connections and many privileges, their dream to build a media empire in China was a complete failure. Murdoch made money in the rest of world—but not in China or Hong Kong. His Chinese wife even played a crucial role in those investments.
Bruce Dover, the ex-vice president of News Corporation Beijing, disclosed some inside information in his 2008 book Rupert Murdoch’s China Adventures: How the World’s Most Powerful Media Mogul Lost a Fortune and Found a Wife.
Dover said that Murdoch asked for a progress report from the Beijing headquarters almost every other day on the phone.
Beijing permitted Murdoch to invest in the Internet and programming market, as well as in groundbreaking television production. Nevertheless, he did not gain any editorial privileges for himself.
Murdoch’s charm has captivated senior government officials in Australia, the U.S., and the U.K., but he believes he failed in China. In 2005, a frustrated Murdoch announced that he had hit a “brick wall” in China.
Many Internet users also believe that the breakdown of his marriage is a result of his failed China dream.