How big is the NBA in China

Dispute between NBA and China"First and foremost you see the dollars"

"Fight for Freedom - Stand with Hong Kong," tweeted the manager of the US basketball team Houston Rockets, Daryl Morey, on October 4, 2019. Just three days later, Morey rowed back and apologized. His pro Hong Kong tweet can no longer be found on his account.

Other NBA players also apologized. "We love China," said Houston rocket professional James Harden. NBA boss Adam Silver has emphasized that the right to freedom of expression is very important, reported USA correspondent Martin Ganslmeier in the program "Sport am Saturday" - but there is currently loud criticism of the US basketball league: "Many US- Americans don't like to be too subservient to China. "

Too much dependence on the Chinese market?

According to Ganslmeier, the NBA is under pressure because it has to look at both markets: the Chinese business and the US market. The US market is still the largest and most important each year, but the greater potential for growth lies in the Chinese market. In addition, individual NBA stars have signed "very lucrative sponsorship contracts" with Chinese companies: "That might explain a little why it was the NBA professionals who pulled their tails pretty quickly and apologized."

The accusation in many US media is that the NBA capitulated to China, that business is more important to them than values ‚Äč‚Äčthat they otherwise hold so high. The US basketball league is actually quite liberal, explains Ganslmeier.

It is unlikely that the NBA will leave the Chinese market: "First and foremost, you see the dollars." Ganslmeier observed in their behavior towards China "a similar tightrope walk as, for example, with the large US corporations such as Apple or Google". It is interesting that "these conflicts have increased in recent years".

Statements by our interlocutors reflect their own views. Deutschlandfunk does not adopt statements made by its interlocutors in interviews and discussions as its own.