We asked last week: why did News Corporation’s Australian newspapers do a giant U-turn in their coverage of the Schapelle Corby case – from rampant hysteria to attacks on the “rednecks” by Akerman, Bolt and Kelly within days?

Was the U-turn an exercise in politics, social responsibility, diplomacy or, being Rupert Murdoch, could it possibly have been, um, commercial?

Crikey now hears that News Corp’s Asian-based satellite television operation Star TV is in due diligence to buy TV 7, one of Indonesia’s national television networks, after several months of negotiations.

Now that makes sense.

And given News Corp’s increasingly close ties with China, watch closely for the company’s coverage of the Chinese diplomat Chen Yonglin, who is seeking diplomatic assylum in Australia.

The Weekend Australian was the newspaper handed the story by Chen Yonglin, yet it only managed one paragraph on page one on Saturday – for an exclusive that any other (non News Corp) paper would have splashed all over the front page.

Like Rupert and his senior executives, Crikey will be watching closely for any pesky anti-Chinese columns or editorials on the subject over the next few days in the News Corp Australian papers.