China's rules: NBA partnership in doubt over Hong Kong tweet
Issued on: Modified:
In the age of globalisation, the West and in particular the United States flexes huge soft power, what with its social media giants, its clothing, its food and drink, its sports and entertainment. But what happens when that soft power comes up against the might of a market of 1.4 billion consumers?
Stars of the Houston Rockets chose contrition after a lone tweet - deleted, but not fast enough, by the Rockets general manager. Daryl Morey's solidarity with Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement was enough for Chinese sponsors to pull out while players and the NBA issued full apologies. So what's worse: the tweet or the apologies? We ask about sports and politics.
And if it's any consolation to the NBA, there are plenty of other apologists out there and worse, say human rights activists. Google, Apple and Microsoft are all actively complying with Chinese censorship rules. That's on the mainland.
But what's next now for Hong Kong? The four-month old protest movement is entering a hardened phase with emergency law coming into effect. And does the strong pushback by Beijing prove Xi Jinping's strength or weakness in the face of dissent?
Produced by Tommaso MAZZANTI, Juliette LAURAIN and Ingri BERGO
Daily news briefReceive essential international news every morningSubscribe