Speculation is rife in Hong Kong and Tokyo that Shanghai-born Gareth Chang is soon to leave Japan's direct-to-home (DTH) satellite TV service DirecTV and join Star TV. Although Mr Chang's programming experience is limited, he is well-versed in the mechanics of getting a digital DTH system up and running in Asia, experience that is valuable as News Corp-owned Star TV continues to roll out these services across the region. A fluent Putonghua-speaker, Mr Chang also enjoys fairly good relations with senior mainland officials. This is just the sort of insider track that Star TV's chairman, Rupert Murdoch, has been after since he bought the station in 1993. Despite building a state-of-the-art production facility in Tianjin, junking plans to publish former Hong Kong Governor Chris Patten's critical appraisal of China and publishing Deng Rong's glowing tribute to her father Deng Xiaoping, Mr Murdoch is still looking for someone with heavyweight guanxi. Soundbites contacted Star TV, only to find the rumour had not permeated its corporate affairs department. Public relations may be flourishing in Hong Kong, but not, it seems, in the offices of New World Telephone. A customer trying to buy a mobile phone looked at the small print and objected to the clause that allowed New World to send junk mail through unless she specifically wrote to the customer services branch. On the basis that the company had ignored every other fax and letter she had sent in the past, the customer altered the contract by hand, but sales staff said they did not have the authority to permit this. The client offered to write a letter in the same vein, but this was not permissible either so she cancelled the deal. Of course, no one had the power to tear up the contract. Finally, a manager was located who did have the authority. It took an hour to be executed, by which time she had left the premises. She returned the next morning, leaving a message with the shop manager to make sure the contract had been cancelled. The manager called back much later and despatched a minion to the customer's office. The deal was soon completed. By then the customer had already called New World's public relations department. In a manifestation of executive responsibility, the operator decided it was not against company policy to give managing director Peter Tsang's name. The operator immediately gave out his name, explaining that as he had been quoted in newspapers in the past, it was all right to give out his name.