NBA vs. China: The Power Struggle Behind the Standoff

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from The Wall Street Journal,

The basketball league may be more strongly positioned to push back than other U.S. businesses that have run afoul of the Chinese government.

Does the NBA need China more than China needs the NBA?

After an initial statement that was widely judged as too soft, the NBA began to flex some of its power on Tuesday morning when Silver issued a defiant statement and refused to apologize to China.

It’s unclear what will happen next after the NBA and China stuck to their positions and the standoff intensified on Tuesday. Chinese state-run television canceled its broadcasts of games between the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets this week and pledged a full review of its NBA programming in response to Silver’s comments on Monday defending freedom of speech.

Silver returned fire by promising the league would “not put itself in a position of regulating what players, employees and team owners say.”

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