NBA's China Situation Still Unsettled Two Months Later
The NBA "hoped that its presence in China would quietly go back to normal" after the fallout from Daryl Morey's tweet, but "it hasn't," as China's state-run CCTV has kept NBA games off the air since then, according to Woo & Cohen of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. China has replaced the NBA games in part with "taped action from the Chinese Basketball Association." The Rockets also remain "blacklisted in China and the rest of the league's Chinese business remains messy." Tencent Holdings is "streaming fewer games than last season -- and none involving the Rockets." Searches for "Houston Rockets" gear on marketplaces run by Alibaba and JD.com, China's "leading online retailers, still yield no results." The NBA store in Beijing's Wangfujing shopping district "isn't selling merchandise for current Rockets players." Adidas' flagship store in Beijing "prominently features photos" of Rockets G James Harden's bearded face and "continues to sell his line of sneakers and clothes, which don't carry the Rockets' logo." The NBA has "adopted a patient, diplomatic approach to rebuilding a relationship with China that was decades in the making and damaged with one deleted tweet." The NBA "isn't the only business grappling with the complexities of operating in China today, but the continued boycott of the Rockets is astonishing given their popularity in the league's most important foreign market" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/10).