News Corp subsidiary Star TV has appointed former Microsoft China chief Jack Gao as topper of Star China and as head of the media group’s Beijing office.

Gao will be based in Beijing and will run Star’s overall business interests in China, including the development of strategic and business directions while also overseeing Star China’s day-to-day operations, the group said in a statement.

He has also been made veep of News Corp. and will be chief representative at News Corp.’s Beijing office, running its activities in China.

Star broadcasts over 60 television services in nine languages to more than 300 million viewers across 53 Asian countries.

Gao will officially join Star in November 2006, and will report to Michelle Guthrie, Star’s CEO.

“With China poised for sustained and strong economic growth in the years ahead, a tremendous number of opportunities for dynamic and progressive companies such as Star and News Corp. will continue to open up,” Gao said.

Before he joined Star, he spent three years as veep of Apac Emerging Geography for Autodesk Inc. Before that, he was general partner of Walden Intl., a leading venture capital firm in the U.S.

Between 1999 and 2002, he was president and general manager of Microsoft China.