Under previous agreements, the NBA was available at several Chinese outlets. The new agreement with Tencent allows it to concentrate its efforts and expand the League brand`s pass. Tencent is currently the fifth largest Internet company in the world and the largest in China, according to Reuters. « People want to use athletes as parrots, as voices, » says Thomas. « They want to criticize them when they say something they don`t agree with, but then they want to push them to say something that fits their agenda. I don`t think that`s fair. At stake: billions of dollars for both sides and a strong four-decade relationship that began in 1979 with a Washington Bullets show-off game. It`s a relationship that has several teams, including Chinese commercial partnerships with NBA players for millions of dollars, a friendship with the Basketball Hall of Famer and former NBA All-Star Yao Ming, who is president of the Chinese Basketball Association and is an important goodwill ambassador for the NBA in Asia, and millions of fans. . Last season, 490 million fans in China saw NBA programming on Tencents platforms, almost three times as many as fans who saw the NBA in the 2014/15 season on Tencent. 21 million fans in China watched Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals on Tencent, marking the most watched NBA game of all time on a digital platform in China.
The fact that the controversial tweet « Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong » – from a senior Rockets official made the scenario a nightmare for the NBA. In 2002, the Rockets designed Chinese star Yao Ming, the 7-foot-5 center, and he quickly turned the country`s basketball fan community into Houston fans. Howard Beck, a lead author for Bleacher Report, has been with the NBA since 1997, including seven years with the Lakers for the Los Angeles Daily News and nine years as a contributor to The New York Times. Its coverage has been honored by APSE in 2016 and 2017 and by the Professional Basketball Writers Association in 2018. The NBA has recently been attacked by lawmakers, who continue to do business with and profit from China, despite the clear human rights violations committed there. But no one has demanded leagues and athletes who have gone through it a political point of view. Until now. There is now a price tag on the tweet that devastated the NBA`s business in China: hundreds of millions of dollars. . The 22 best gifts for those who like to be out Almost a week later, the consequences of this one quickly deleted tweet – which contained the words « fight for freedom, with Hong Kong » – still dominate the information cycle. « It remains unclear whether Trump`s executive order is closely suited to WeChat or to Tencent as a whole, which has several investments in U.S.
video game, sports and media companies, » Young wrote. NBA teams have played in front of Chinese fans for 13 of the past 14 years, with LeBron James – arguably the biggest name still active in the league – directing his Lakers in Shanghai and Shenzhen this week against the Nets, whose new owner Joe Tsai co-founded Chinese tech giant Alibaba.