Job-cut fears have surfaced at Star TV after the company announced it had hired an independent satellite-service provider to take over the broadcasting of three channels to viewers in Taiwan. Several employees said many staff had voiced fears about their future. 'There are rumours, people are concerned, but they are not sure exactly what job plans the company has in store for them,' one said. 'Rupert Murdoch was in town. We don't know if that's a good or bad thing.' Mr Murdoch is chairman and chief executive officer of News Corporation, which wholly owns Star. A Star TV spokesman yesterday denied there were plans to lay off workers or restructure the company, but admitted that when the broadcast transfer is completed in Taiwan at the end of the year there might be personnel changes and reassignments. He said Mr Murdoch was passing through Hong Kong but had left already after a four-day visit to Beijing and Shanghai last week to launch a new Chinese channel on the mainland. 'The satellite uplink expertise of our staff is needed to train their Taiwanese counterparts and this training will continue until the end of the year,' the spokesman said. More than 800 workers operate the Star Broadcasting Centre at Clearwater Bay, which uplinks satellite feeds for more than 30 channels to over 50 countries and territories, including Taiwan. Last week, Star announced three channels offering mainly Chinese-language programmes to more than five million Taiwanese viewers would be broadcast from satellite uplinks provided by Teleport Access Services Inc, an independent company in Taiwan, rather than being broadcast from Hong Kong. Star TV, which uses satellites to broadcast TV programmes, has about 500,000 viewers in Hong Kong. It was founded by PCCW chairman Richard Li Tzar-kai in 1991 but sold to News Corporation in blocks of shares between 1993 and 1995.