Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
NBA's China dilemma: $4B at risk as Chinese TV cancels game broadcasts (foxbusiness.com)
577 points by Alupis 10 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 443 comments





The NBA really needs to grow a spine on this one. They have nothing to lose but incremental profits and in the long run China will lose. It will just be one more reminder for the populace that their current government restricts them from luxuries the rest of the world gets to experience. And if that doesn't bother them, good riddance I guess, it's not like China is going to come up with their own basketball league that's going to overtake the NBA, ever.


My I'm just feeling cynical, but this just sounds to me like an easy way to have it both ways:

1. Placate the US by putting out a public statement saying "We support freedom of speech for our people."

2. Placate China by using a backchannel to ensure that no one in the NBA actually uses this nominal freedom to say something that hurts China's feelings.

Actually standing up would require supporting a statement that had been said instead of offerring vague support for future statements which may or may not ever occur.


You are just theorizing that #2 is happening with no evidence.

Here ya go:

1. a) "Steve Kerr's silence shows NBA-China relationship is league's third rail" - [https://www.nbcsports.com/bayarea/warriors/steve-kerrs-silen...]

  b) [https://twitter.com/JamesHasson20/status/1181422479115456512]
2. "NBA Stars Seek to Stay on China’s Good Side" - [https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-08/james-har...]

3. "Opinion: It's time for LeBron James to speak out on China, regardless of Nike ties" - [https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/columnist/josh-peter/2...]


NBA tried to placate China on Weibo here,

> However, a statement posted in Chinese by the NBA on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like microblogging site, appeared different, according to translators.

> “We feel greatly disappointed at Houston Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey’s inappropriate speech, which is regrettable," the statement read. "Without a doubt, he has deeply offended many Chinese basketball fans. Morey has clarified that his stance on this issue does not represent either Houston Rockets or the NBA. From NBA’s perspective, people can be interested in different subjects and freely share their opinions. We take respecting Chinese history and culture as a serious matter. We also hope that sports and the NBA, as a unified source of positive energy, can continue to build bridges between countries and bring people together. "

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/2019/10/07/nba-chi...

Regardless of whether the NBA has control over what is said on that account, it's pretty shitty to have it one way in one country and another way elsewhere while hiding behind a language barrier. If this kind of double-speak continues, they're playing us all for fools.


Lots of things hide behind a language barrier. The world's knowledge of China is severely distorted by the language barrier in the first place.

Unintentional miscommunication and duplicitous behavior are not the same thing.

The evidence is that they didn't support the original tweet that caused all the ruckus, and there hasn't been a flood of tweets or other expressions of support for HK by other NBA people since the NBA made the statement.

We should boycott the NBA.

We can do better than that. Show up at every Brooklyn Nets game, sitting behind the basket with signs which... aren’t China friendly.

Apparently people have done that and have gotten kicked out of NBA preseason games in the United States!

https://www.dailywire.com/news/shameful-fans-with-free-hong-...


“Hong Kong Lives Matter”

That should get some attention.


Why not boycott China and cctv?

Consider the absence of evidence - name a single person affiliated with the NBA who publicly supported the censured guy or Hong Kongers

This is nothing more than the illusion of a stance so long as the statement on Weibo stands. Publicly calling Morey's statement "inappropriate" and "disappoint[ing]" and expressing regret for it cannot be reconciled with supporting free speech.

Here is the Weibo statement for those who haven't seen it,

> However, a statement posted in Chinese by the NBA on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like microblogging site, appeared different, according to translators.

> “We feel greatly disappointed at Houston Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey’s inappropriate speech, which is regrettable," the statement read. "Without a doubt, he has deeply offended many Chinese basketball fans. Morey has clarified that his stance on this issue does not represent either Houston Rockets or the NBA. From NBA’s perspective, people can be interested in different subjects and freely share their opinions. We take respecting Chinese history and culture as a serious matter. We also hope that sports and the NBA, as a unified source of positive energy, can continue to build bridges between countries and bring people together. "

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/2019/10/07/nba-chi...


- The NBA has spent years and many millions of dollars investing in China, helping to build courts, giving broadcasting rights away for free and bringing its stars over for preseason games.

One second you are in the market.

Poof, you are not anymore.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

--

Investing in China as a western company to earn money is the worst business decision you can have.

Knowledge transfer for manufacturing is the second.


And that stance is "we love money."

That was nothing but PR doubletalk.


Woah, that's quite a pleasant surprise. Not what I expected.

While I agree that the NBA has stand up and to do the right thing, I'm not sure that "incremental" is the correct description of the league's profits.

I read an article very recently (NY Times, maybe?) that laid out the numbers, and the amount of money the NBA earns in China dwarfs its U.S. revenue.

not like China is going to come up with their own basketball league

It already has basketball leagues. And considering that China has exported star players to the NBA, it's certainly a possibility.


NBA annual TV revenue: $4B China (CCTV & Tencent) versus $24B USA (ESPN & TNT).

Those numbers are outdated and incomplete, but basically describe the relative market size.

Maybe you are thinking of rate of growth.

EDIT: As tanilama pointed out my numbers are wrong. The USA (ESPN & TNT) TV deal is about ~$2.6B per year. The Tencent streaming deal is ~$1.5B over 5 years. I don't know about CCTV.


$24B USA is for 10 years?

https://www.cbc.ca/sports/basketball/nba/nba-tv-deal-how-the...

Annually it says the revenue is 2.6B. Not sure how much revenue they are making from China on a yearly basis (Tencent's contract is 5 years).


> basically describe the relative market size.

pretty sure that basically describes the relative market valuation - given income differences/relative cache of the two different leagues, market size vs valuation would be vastly different.


>the amount of money the NBA earns in China dwarfs its U.S. revenue.

Source?

>It already has basketball leagues.

I guess it's a good thing I didn't say they don't. Partial quoting to try to make a point where there isn't one isn't very cool.

>And considering that China has exported star players to the NBA, it's certainly a possibility.

It's exported exactly one star: yao Ming, and one slightly above average player in Jeremy Lin. And those two were so far apart they never played in the NBA at the same time. If you think one star every 30 years is going to be good enough to replace an NBA that produces multiple stars every other year.... I guess pass whatever you're smoking my way.


Jeremy Lin is American.

Jeremy Lin is Taiwanese not Chinese.

China doesn't need the NBA nearly as much as the NBA wants China's money. Just as I would mildly like to be as good of bicyclist as my neighbor who has devoted time to that rather than a career, I see no reason why China couldn't easily frame the NBA in some sort of a similar manner while pouring a bit of cash into developing a "good enough" domestic league that has the added bonus of being Chinese. Even if the Chinese populace currently held high admiration for NBA players, I suspect this opinion if fairly malleable - particularly when you can point out a very clear and plausible path to de facto world economic and military supremacy as a consolation prize.

Jeremy Lin grew up in Palo Alto, California.

China exported Jeremy Lin? He's a born and raised american...

Jeremy Lin is not Chinese.

>Lin is the first American of Chinese or Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Lin

Jeremy Lin is of Chinese descent. I didn't say he was born there.


He is not 'exported' from China, that is the point. People in China recognizes him as a foreigner.

Your statement is still absurd. Would you consider an Irish American player to be “exported from” Ireland?

Probably? Why would that be different?

Because most people don't view/phrase it like that and it sounds absurd either way. At best your phrasing is absurd and at worst (which you deny is the case), racist.

Because we already have a preexisting standard we conform to. Saying Jeremy Lin is a Chinese export is like saying the NBA mostly consists of African exports - we generally consider the black players with some African heritage as just Americans. Jeremy Lin is an American with Chinese heritage - This also helps to differentiate from players who actually have emigrated from other countries like Hakeem Olajuwon.

The term "African American" is complicated. But I think when someone self-identifies as a [country]-American, it's generally fair to call them an export of that country. You would want to be clear in certain circumstances that they weren't born there, but it's not a terrible way to phrase things.

Note that this is different from just having heritage in a country. There's immigration only a couple generations back in my family, but it's already mixed to the point that I wouldn't call myself any specific country-American.


Jeremy Lin is Taiwanese bruh

I think focusing on the NBA and China misses the bigger issue that affects everyone.

What if Daryl Morey had tweeted that he believed marriage was between a man and a woman?

There's no doubt he would have been fired and deplatformed faster than greased lightning...

Social media is making it hard for individuals to keep their personal thoughts separate from their work.

Not sure what the answer is. Everybody chill?


> What if Daryl Morey had tweeted that he believed marriage was between a man and a woman?

You wouldn't see countries threatening to ban the entire NBA.

> There's no doubt he would have been fired and deplatformed faster than greased lightning...

Sign me up for a lot of doubt!


Right, this is not a freedom of speech issue because that has been long gone with cancel culture. This is a case of whether cancel culture applies internationally, which is difficult for an American corporation operating internationally. With Trump's decoupling and isolationism, more of these issues will come up under the guise of ideology or values, but which are not actually about these.

> They have nothing to lose but incremental profits and in the long run China will lose.

I don’t understand this. They could lost all their market in China which is not a small number and in return, long-term financially, nothing. It is not like Chinese people can’t live without it. There are more than enough entertainments for Chinese people to enjoy.


At the rate they're making money (NBA), why does ADDITIONAL PROFIT matter ? We aren't 'the ferangi'; people are more important than profits, but American corporations seem to have ignored or forgotten that. Screw NBA market share, or financial well-being. Democracy and human rights are vastly more important!

NOTE: I think this has been handled incredibly poorly by the NBA and that Morey should have doubled down on his tweet, not caved.

That said, the reason additional profits matter is that 51% of the revenue (not profits) go to the players, and the salary cap is tied directly to total revenue. This was collectively bargained and cannot be changed without a renegotiation. A lot of decisions have been made making assumptions about revenue that include revenue from China. On the player side, the total amount of money available to them is directly impacted by how much money is generated in China.

All that said, the NBA and the players should absolutely speak out and dare the CCP to delete the NBA. It's the most popular sport in the country and they've spent years cultivating the relationship. People will notice if it disappears.


Sorry, but "why does the NBA (a large corporation employing many people) need to make more money?" comes off as a far more reasonable question to me than "why do professional American basketball players need to make more money?"

Sorry, wasn't clear and was really making two points that are tangentially related:

1 - highlighting that total revenue generated directly impacts the amount of money available to players (as in there is a legal document outlining this)

2 - Ownership groups and the league as a whole have made many decisions based on an assumption of 49% of future revenues generated, so reductions in that future revenue stream are a lot riskier than "we just won't make as much profit." It's possible that for some teams, the reduction in revenue could actually force them to operate substantially in the red.

Once again, just want to be clear that I'm just pointing out the actual financial situation and that I still think the NBA should and could call China's bluff. It would likely sting in the short term, but China has invested so much in building up the NBA domestically that it will be really difficult to just delete it without any kind of backlash.

Long-term, I imagine the NBA is going to put more resources into the Indian market to reduce their reliance on a single overseas market.


On a tangent, what is "the ferangi"? Because that's what Indians call Europeans.

Sorry about that, I was unaware of that connotation. rrix2 is correct in the linked wiki - I meant Ferengi, the Star Trek aliens obsessed with profit above all else, and the subsequent greed.


Not just the NBA, but every company owned by the 30 plus owners in the NBA could feel pressure.

Basketball is popular in China. The NBA is the premier league. It doesn't need China. If you want to see the best or play with the best, it will be the NBA. If the CCP (China Communist Party) wants to spoil the entertainment of the citizenry, that's their problem. The NBA can go right back into China whenever the winds change.

On the other hand, if the NBA doesn't stand up to China, a large part of their core audience will find something else to do.


This is another thing I feel uneasy about, this is just a basketball league, why does it have to force people to pick a side?

This isn't specifically about a basketball league. This is a choice between believing in personal freedom of expression, versus allowing a repressive foreign government to censor people who are not their citizens, all in the name of profit.

Who upped the ante? One guy who tweeted something, or a government who blocked a whole industry? NBA isn't forcing anything. They would continue showing their programming in China if it were not blocked.

> This is another thing I feel uneasy about, this is just a basketball league, why does it have to force people to pick a side?

That question should be addressed to the Chinese government, they are the one wanting to block the league.


Well technically you don't have to choose a side you can choose to do nothing which is its own side in a way and has meaning and consequence to the general population. People know that rich and famous people, or people in power really have the most sway in matters. So we mere laypeople can decide that you either choose a side or you have chosen to side against us. If you were looking at a person who had the ability to help, but choose to do nothing can you not see how people can be upset with them? Again sure you can choose to do nothing but I won't like you, I might stop supporting you, or I may even work against you.

People need to stop talking about China like it's a single unit and the government can control every single thing its people do. They threatened certain countries and yet tourist and student arrivals from China only increased. If they block NBA Chinese fans will still find a way to consume it.

They'll find a way to consume it. But the NBA will probably make much more money through legitimate products in China than if Chinese fans are watching pirated streams over VPN and buying counterfeit, unlicensed jerseys.

The jerseys are probably made in China anyway. Unlicensed = the NBA doesn't make money from license fees. Maybe wearing an NBA shirt in China would equate to wearing one with Winnie the Pooh?

Yes if the fans still wants it.

> it's not like China is going to come up with their own basketball league that's going to overtake the NBA, ever.

Why not? Is it inconceivable that in the future the CBA will be able to compete with the NBA for top talent? I guarantee that down the road a future Zion Williamson will choose to play in China over New Orleans. This won't be in the near future mind you, but as the Chinese economy grows, and as basketball gets more popular, I don't see why this couldn't be the future.


Not likely, players (not superstars) can already make more money in Euroleague yet everyone given a choice wants to play at the highest level, which is NBA. Superstars even more so, Kawhi Leonard won a title in Toronto but chose to go back home in LA, for less guaranteed money.

You may overestimate how valuable western eyeballs are, a billion people can recreate this industry with government support quite easily.

You may overestimate how valuable those billion viewers are, most of them don't have the money to buy anything.

Also, there are a great many cultural and economic reasons that foreign players generally avoid playing in China's existing professional sports league. Political oppression is just one of those reasons.


I don't buy that idea, western institutions that we generally think of as unique are quite easy to duplicate in Asia if the focus is put there.

"Future Zion Williamson"'s have chosen to play in China over the NCAA already. The ones who have all spoke about the culture shock and language barriers and how it impeded their development. The Australian leagues seem far more likely to carve out an early career role for American high school stars.

Serious? Most of the top players in NBA are colored, they dominate this game. So Chinese may turn to football(European) instead.

Or watch table tennis which they're good at.

What do you mean? Adam Silver wrote a statement supporting Morey's right to free speech, and then doubled down on it after receiving flak for his free speech support.

I think the point was the NBA needs to take a stance on HK itself, in support of democracy.

"We support free speech" is a cop-out, because China is happy for you to support free speech, as long as you don't say anything they don't like. It would be a stronger stance to say, "Actually, we think Morey was right", especially if it's going to cost them money to do so.


> Adam Silver has released statement on league’s relationship status with China, reading in part: “The NBA will not put itself in a position of regulating what players, employees and team owners say or will not say on these issues. We simply could not operate that way.”

https://twitter.com/ShamsCharania/status/1181497808563658752

Really I don't know what more you're expecting. This is a strong stance.


I don't think the NBA needs to take a stance on HK. It literally has nothing to do with them. I think it would be pretty cool if they did come out publicly in support of the protesters, but I don't think they have any kind of moral or business imperative to do so.

> it's not like China is going to come up with their own basketball league that's going to overtake the NBA, ever.

Even if they did, so what? There's certainly room in the world for quite a few basketball leagues.


It seems plausible that Hong Kong is actually a substantial third-rail issue for the mainland population. And that it doesn't just reflect Chinese government propaganda. If that's the case, profit-driven pandering to their feelings is arguably no different than profit-driven pandering to the feelings of other audiences.

I mean, after all, Hong Kong was occupied by the British for over 100 years. And it played a huge role in the opium trade. So I can imagine how it could be a substantial third-rail issue.


Isn't it easy for you to say when you risk losing nothing on this matter? If your business were about to lose a big and growing market wouldn't you do all you could to keep that market happy whether you agree with them or not? If not my guess is your business wouldn't last very long.

They have everything to lose and it's quite sane for them to back down from this fight. The NBA isn't our government, just because our politicians are spineless and fawning doesn't mean companies need to take up the fight.

That all said it'd be awesome if they chose to push back even though it's entirely destructive to themselves.


Why is it any less the responsibility of American businessmen than American politicians? We're a nation of free people, and we all share in both the benefits and responsibilities of freedom. You don't get to pretend to be an American and then put your head in the sand and say, "Oh I'm just a businessman." If that's your first loyalty then fine, but at least be straight about it and don't try to have it both ways with this "we love free expression but the dollars, sorry" crap.

It absolutely is the responsibility of American businessmen, but the question wasn't about businessmen it was about the NBA - the NBA is a corporation with no fealty, loyalty or citizenship within any country in the world. I think in America there has been a hard push to prevent government control into various companies - just because this scenario is about decrying a foreign entity instead of the US flexing power domestically (i.e. via warrantless wiretapping) doesn't change the fact that, at a basic level, it's the same exact problem.

Lastly, there are no American corporations, nothing should be given to them because they're assumed to be American and nothing should be expected of them - anything required of them should be encoded into law so that one corporation can't exploit the morally correct decision of another corporation as a weakness.


That's a nice theory and all, but if the NBA really believes that then its representatives should stop pretending to care about free speech.

They, like many companies, would love to have their cake and eat it too - they want the positive PR from looking like "A Real American Company" with patriotism and all that - while actually having no obligation toward (and making no effort to support) any given country.

Agreed. From my view, the NBA is way too popular in China to outright ban.

Consider last example of Korean TV shows? They are once popular in China before THAAD deployed in South Korea.

Is it just me, or are there a lot of stories now about China throwing its financial weight around to influence speech?

We had the Blizzard/War of Omens thing [1], and the Houston Rockets remark being rescinded [2], and the South Park cancellation [3], and now this, all in the span of about a week.

[1] https://www.cnet.com/news/blizzard-removes-blitzchung-from-h...

[2] https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/07/houston-rockets-gm-morey-del...

[3] https://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/dek3kl/south_par...


Well, there's a common cause right? The protests in HK

Yeah but that’s been going on for months and it feels like there’s a sudden surge (though I don’t have the stats to rigorously prove a sudden change).

I agree with you. It's even now the talk of the relatively apolitical office.

Also the UBS pig incident:

https://fortune.com/2019/06/17/ubs-china-pig-paul-donovan/

That one wasn't even anything apparently political, just absurd snowflake-scale sensitivity on the part of a whole country:

Donovan made the “Chinese pig” comment on Wednesday as he attempted to explain why the country’s swine flu outbreak shouldn’t concern investors eyeing the international inflation outlook.

“Does this matter? It matters if you are a Chinese pig,” Donovan said. “It matters if you like eating pork in China. It does not really matter to the rest of the world. China does not export a lot of food. The only global relevance would be if Chinese inflation influenced politics and other policies.”

Somehow the second sentence got interpreted as an insult - or was it just part of a trend of throwing weight around, as you suggest?

One of China’s biggest state-owned infrastructure companies excluded UBS Group AG from a bond deal after the bank’s global chief economist sparked a furor with his use of the phrase “Chinese pig.”

The comment was condemned by two Communist Party publications and by trade groups representing Chinese brokerages. Haitong International Securities Group, which competes against UBS for China-related business, said on Friday that it had suspended its activities with the bank.

Honestly, having watched this sort of stuff for years my own business interest in China is dead. Yes, it's a big market. But you can live very comfortably serving the rest of the world. Facebook and Google are banned there, they still mint more money than they can spend. Ignoring that market completely seems like a recipe for a much simpler life.


I didn't follow this at the time but I can immediately see that there exactly two ways to interpret the "Chinese pig" comment and one is very insulting. I'm guessing that the person who said the quote did not mean it as an insult

No, there's really no sane way to interpret that statement as being insulting. The entire statement was about swine flu, pork production and other very obviously pig-related things. Only a terribly incompetent mistranslation could have yielded an insult out of it, and such a mistranslation would surely have been detected immediately.

There's just no sensible explanation for why anyone would get upset by that statement.


> serving the rest of the world.

what about sourcing manufacturing?

this is the crux.


The reality is, our political and corporate elites made a deal with the devil two decades ago, because the $ to be made off-shoring manufacturing and gaining access to Chinese markets was too good to pass up. They lied to the public that China posed no economic or military threat going forward, and that our glorious free markets would inevitably lead to a bottom-up liberalization of China.

Instead, we've played ourselves for absolute suckers, and as China's economy and military muscle continues to rapidly expand and the rest of the world is increasingly dependent on its products and markets, they're beginning to throw their weight around. All the pearl-clutching over Trump's tariffs and attempt at a renewed industrial policy (however poorly executed) elided the question of what exactly anyone else was proposing to do, with the default being the continuation of business-as-usual.

People need to wake up and realize China is a far greater geopolitical threat than the USSR ever was. They have a massive population and they've melded together free-ish market strategic industrial capitalism with a totalitarian panopticon state unlike anything the world has ever seen. Their military is rapidly catching up with if not in some areas surpassing our own, and we're sitting on our asses arguing over idiotic domestic squabbles assuming the unipolar post-cold war world will continue on forever. Because Muricuh!

Frankly, thank god this is finally bleeding out into popular culture, because maybe average citizens will start to realize what a straight-line projection of our current situation is going to look like in a decade or two.


20 years ago? I'd pin it on Nixon's visit in 1972, nearly 50 years ago. Without that I'd bet China would have civil warred and bootstrapped its self into Democracy.

Acceptance into the WTO in 2001 and the subsequent mass technology transfer from the West to China (corporate CEO's) combined with a decade of turning a blind eye to trade violations (Western politicians) and lack of monitoring (Western corporate media) is what really put the nail in the West's coffin though.

> Without that I'd bet China would have civil warred and bootstrapped its self into Democracy.

orr.. gotten over the sino-soviet split and bolshevized europe and latin america, leaving the US without a leg to stand on geopolitically.


Every single Chinese Civil war in history is brutal and could cause tens of millions deaths. Let alone with the huge population and peculiar culture it might not necessarily end up in a democracy system. I don’t really think it would be better in that parallel universe

China's neighbours Vietnam and N Korea haven't done well at such things. I'd bet the other way.

Billions of people got lifted out of poverty. WTO accession was inevitable because China met the criteria. Trump hasn't done anything close to industrial policy. I say this as someone who has a lot of criticisms of US policy in this area, but WTO accession was inevitable.

We have started talking about it but this has been going on for a while.

south park was not aired in China. They took down content on pirate dl or illegal streaming services.

A presidential candidates stance on China and its abuse of human rights will be a key issue for me in 2020.

What is happening to the NBA, Blizzard, and seemingly every company that has a presence in China is the tip of the iceberg.

If we as a liberal free society cannot stand against the rise of oppressive totalitarianism then we are doomed to fail.

Incremental profits and potential market share in a closed economy is not worth the values we are sacrificing in the process.

If you are a C-level executive at a company doing business in China these issues need to addressed at the board level. What is the level of influence that the Chinese government is exerting on you and your morals.

Your stance should be clear: You either support the people of HK and their fight for representation in government, or you support the totalitarian regime that is oppressing them and hundreds of millions of other Chinese citizens.


> A presidential candidates stance on China and its abuse of human rights will be a key issue for me in 2020.

Your presidential candidate need to fix human rights issues in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Democracy installed by the US government gotta have a warranty and customer service.

If the outcome of US installed human rights means tens of thousands of refugees and jihad fighters how can your model of human rights even work in a 1.4B population China?


You can't have it both ways, we gave Iraq and Afghanistan the opportunity to elect a representative government, it is not our place to complain about the representatives they elected.

How many revolutions and dictatorships did the French have to go through until they settled on a system that works for them?


> we gave Iraq and Afghanistan the opportunity to elect a representative government, it is not our place to complain about the representatives they elected.

The USA insisted on representative government within those countries’ existing borders. So much of the strife in those countries is ethnic-based. If regions were given options for secession, then some of the new territorial formations that resulted may well have become more politically stable. Just look at how much better off Iraqi Kurdistan is, which is as close as it can get to independence, than the rest of Iraq.


So now the expectation is for them to suffer 100-500 years until they finally figure out how to do democracy? I think I'd rather live in a stable dictatorship that through the hell of never-ending war

I guess it's the user's fault for not understanding the product.

The US still conducts operations in Afghanistan and Iraq without informing their governments, that's military occupation, not "democracy"

This reminds me of a story a teacher of mine told in a Advertising class, about a retailer that put pressure on a soda maker to lower prices, or they wouldn't give them share of shelf.

Well the soda maker didn't agree, so they pulled the inventory out.

Weeks later the retailer came back to invite them in at the same rates. Apparently the customers weren't happy that their favorite soda wasn't available, and made sure to let the staff know.

If China starts to pull the plug on unique products and services, I believe there's going to be a ripple effect. I'm pretty sure there are millions of people in China that still enjoy the NBA, despite NBA's stance on what ever the subject is.

This will add up. Maybe the fear of instability through Western propaganda should be matched by the instability that the actualization of censorship is alive and well, via the ban of content people like.

Maybe not.


I want to point it out it is not only Chinese government, but also Chinese people, the people were enjoying the NBA, are abandoning it. This actually hurts the feeling of the fans.

While this definitely exists, I’m not completely convinced the true intensity of the Chinese exactly matches the front that Beijing allows forth. I’m confident that most Chinese are unhappy (maybe very unhappy) with the comments, but an entirely organic nationwide boycott seems a little farfetched to me. Chinese aren’t robots; there’s significant variance of opinions and eagerness about politics among them just like all other humans.

However, if the government chooses to grease the wheels of fury or even light the flame via astroturfing while simultaneously censoring dissenting opinions, they look mighty unified.

Remember, this tweet was on _Twitter_. Twitter is banned in China, which raises the question of how this became such a mainstream issue there organically. Sure, I suppose it’s possible that an expat reshared it on Weibo and the entire country went bananas but that seems a like a bit of a stretch to me.


Why are you confident about Chinese? Do you have any evidence directly from mainland Chinese to support your arguments, or only speculations?

I am also confident that the Chinese aren't robots. Sadly I have no evidence directly from mainland China, you could say it's simply speculation.

They're abandoning anyone and everyone who hurt their feelings because of blind/toxic nationalism. Just take a look at this Weibo poll (there are no wrong answers):

https://twitter.com/rhokilpatrick/status/1181591094473052160


Let's not kid ourselves that there's any such thing as a genuine poll on a Chinese government communication poll. Give me a break.

Only because they are brainwashed by saturation lifelong propaganda.

Also hello to the MSS sockpuppet accounts joining the debate.


They maybe brainwashed, but so does a lot of other people.

but so are a lot of other people comrade xlc0212

One of the big problems I find with people supporting the Chinese position on something is that - are they really supporting it, or is this propaganda? Given the level of control on the media and internet there, it is impossible to know.

As I mentioned above, the Chinese are undoubtedly extremely sensitive about HK (I would argue due to propaganda but that’s irrelevant to the question). There is some amount of authenticity this (definitely at least 50%) and the HK protests are truly almost universally very unpopular in the mainland. That said, the degree to which this particular outrage is manufactured by Beijing vs organic is extremely difficult to determine.

for the nba case, i'm pretty sure its organic.. moreover, its chinese netizen pushes the gov to take action. the very first discussion happens probably on diba (sth like 4chan). then the screenshot of the tweet spread virally with outrage of netizens. after that the gov notices it and takes action

If every western luxury disappeared from China overnight, I think they'd struggle to come up with domestic replacements quickly enough.

I recommend that Western people who get their facts about China from various mainstream media supplement that with subscribing to YouTube channels of Westerners who actually live there.

This guy is a regular every day Canadian with a Chinese wife who's lived there on and off for 13 or so years, and he has a very unbiased opinion.

This episode is about Chinese Patriotism, very thought provoking.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=hPovk2CNKHM


I'm also a fan of SerpentZA, LaoWhy86, and their shared channel ADVChina. Same thing as your link, guys that have been living there for over 10 years, married to chinese women, read and speak the language, and can provide a lot of insight into not only every day life, but also the views of chinese people within mainland china.

I agree, however they have had quite a distinct change in tone recently since leaving China. Not that what they say is untrue, but it feels at least somewhat to have an "unfair" anti-China bias at this point, at least to me.

The reality is though, no singular opinion is "correct", best to consume a wide variety of opinions with an open mind, and resist forming any strong conclusions about particulars. Usually, the correct answer is "well, it depends".


It seems reasonable to filter your views and appear more pro-China while living in China.

Agreed. The question is, what is True? Who shall we believe? There are MANY varied and inconsistent characterizations in play. I choose to believe none of them with any confidence, but I suspect I'm fairly rare in this respect.

I wish that worked by my anecdata says otherwise. Walgreen got rid of lots of branded items and replaced them with their cheaper "Nice!" brand products. 7/11 here in Japan has been working on getting rid of brands. They no longer carry branded tea. They are working on getting rid of branded coffees.

Both companiese "seem" to be doing fine AFAICT. Most people I've asked seem not to care. I'd love it if they did care since the store branded products are not as good IMO.


Well give them a handout as the US soybean farmers got for Chinese cutting imports due to trade war ... this is no different.

You either engage with China and turn a blind eye to their internal repression or totally decouple yourself from them ... can't have your cake and eat it.


This reminds me of the issues faced by people developing apps that compete with facebook, or apps that offer a nice feature for iOS. There's always the risk that an ecosystem you don't control will turn on you, or change the rules of the game.

Except with China it's 1000x worse. It's not an app, it's not just an extra feature, it's the wholesale export of their authoritarian society to the rest of the world. When the statements of a user of your system (as with Hearthstone) risks your company being banned in China, self-censorship inevitably ensues. How long will it be until China insists that anyone, anywhere be deplatformed for this sort of thing?


That's the point. The scale of China's reaction is obviously not because of the tweet itself but because of the trade war.

The message is that the US have a lot to lose if China starts to also effectively blacklist American companies like the US try to do to Chinese companies...

Edit: Someone should explain why now on HN a comment like this one that simply tries to look beyond the obvious and to discuss current issues with a bit more depth is received so negatively as soon as posted.


Well, we saw with the USSR that decades of Cold War couldn't be defused politically but Levis and Coca Cola went a long way towards bridging the divide.

Now we have China which is basketball-mad but the problem is we can't use the carrot of the NBA to entice them towards us as long as the NBA is willing to trade their product under China's terms for a big enough paycheque. The NBA's attempt to paint themselves as a non-participant is totally unacceptable. You either stand for something or you stand for nothing; you don't get to quietly profit from the situation while declaring you have no position. That's the "good people on both sides" argument we rightly called out as total BS.


The NBA is about basketball, not about something that is quickly turning into McCarthyism. Demanding that they should 'stand for something' is behaving exactly how China and Chinese companies are accused of behaving.

The concept of "enticing China towards the US" is also naive at best. China is not a small country that the US can turn into a satellite. It is a superpower with its own views and interests and however its political regime will evolve it will not be either aligned with or under the leadership of the US. The US government knows that and that is the problem they have with China.


Please see comments in this thread or Google about their standing for gender issues in the United States. They’ve positioned themselves as social conscious.

It is true that the CCP loves capitalism without conscience. The owners of the NBA (and MLB/NFL) seem to like that idea too, but the league has posititioned itself differently, as having a social conscience. Which, BTW, is different to McCarthyism. (It's a real tell that you use that playbook BTW.)

Culturally, China is not an exporter. It imports culture massively, but it isn't IP it can easily copy.

Authoritarian regimes are usually pretty bad at creating cultural products, except the ones like gruesome museums. Though I'm looking forward to HK producing its own Ai Weiwei or Guo Jian.


Ok, fair. But how about them being free to not interfere with what their players and managers support?

Is that like how IBM was about business machines when they sold equipment to help Nazis with the Final Solution? Are living Uighur prisoners not being chopped up for their body parts, today?

This is a common self-aggrandizing misconception in the West, but Levis and Coca Cola didn't do shit to bring the USSR down. Neither did a half-senile actor from California banging his shoe on a desk, and yelling about tearing down a wall.

Glasnost, Perestroika, Afghanistan, economic stagnation, and the growing squeamishness of the country's leadership to use mass violence for political repression did.

If the economy of the USSR were growing 7% year over year, the Berlin wall would be six hundred feet tall by now, and communists would still be in charge of half of Europe.

Change in superpowers comes from within, not from foreign grandstanding.


Khrushchev’s shoe incident happened 20 years before Reagan was president.

To explain, and ruin the joke:

I am purposefully, and quite absurdly, conflating Khrushchev's rather embarrassing shoe debacle with the rather embarrassing overstatement of Reagan's oratorical prowess and influence, in the affair of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Many people hold to the mistaken belief that he can take any credit for it. [1]

[1] Occasionally, they trot out 'Star Wars bankrupts the Soviet Union' as his greatest triumph. No, it wasn't eight years of Star Wars that starved the Soviet Economy, it was eight decades of military spending taking up >40% of GDP.


Because HN has generally smart and well thought comnents except when it come to china. Not sure why.

Just take the article when China was first to ban the Boeing 737. Everyone here yell at bad china like in a tabloid forum...


What if this blows up in the other direction ?

How many Chinese will pay attention to "whatever those people are doing in Hong Kong" for the first time because of this ?

Which is to say, what if lots of young Chinese stand up and take notice that they can't watch world class professional basketball anymore ?

I am well aware that there is homegrown professional basketball in China, but the $4B number suggests they want to watch the NBA, which isn't surprising.

It's not obvious to me that, from the position of youth in China, the state holds the winning hand here ...


For some reason, a lot of people have convinced themselves that youth around the world all value rebellion and standing up for freedom. It’s not true. It’s especially not true in China. Young people in China are generally ultra nationalist and they support virtually everything the government does. If China bans something, the overwhelming majority of them will have a dozen reasons why it’s an excellent decision ready to go.

Don’t count on young people to take the west’s side on anything. They enjoy our media and the products our mega corporations make, but they don’t need them and they’ll switch to Chinese alternatives instantly.


>Young people in China are generally ultra nationalist and they support virtually everything the government does.

Many Westerners have trouble coming to terms with things like "Not all the Chinese hate the CCP", or "Russians are just regular people like you and me."


How many anti-government protests have you seen in China?

>How many Chinese will pay attention to "whatever those people are doing in Hong Kong" for the first time because of this ?

Most of them are already aware, and due to state ran media and an ultra-nationalistic view, are in full support of CCP and are very much against HK and their protests.

Here is a video from a guy who lived in China for over a decade, is married to a mainland Chinese woman, has family both in Hong Kong as well as Mainland, and how it's destroying his family due to the Mainlander's views of Hong Kong: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4wbx9hIN4E


He finishes the video by saying: "there is no oppression here guys".

Which is blatantly false. I know it's a tired meme, but there's an Orwellian panopticon powered by computers which literally rates each and every person by their level of socially desirable metrics and materially affects their daily life. That is oppression of freedom, and it's only the beginning. We've been down this road before with other autocracies in the past, but they weren't powered by machine learning...

That being said the video did give an important perspective of the overwhelming level of patriotism the Chinese people have for their country.


> How many Chinese will pay attention to "whatever those people are doing in Hong Kong" for the first time because of this ?

If they've been living under a rock where they didn't notice the defacement of the national emblem at the Liaison Office when it was widely condemned in the state media, they're not going to notice the NBA getting cancelled.

You can't expect them to miraculously find a source that doesn't condemn this as an attack on the national sovereignty of China by American imperialists.


Its curious how could you pitch the cancellation of these NBA games to the audience expecting to watch these NBA games without causing a Streisand effect [1]? If you mention the tweet, will they want to seek out and find the tweet?

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect


Wrap it in propaganda like everything else. When you have already established a narrative framework under which China are the good guys, and whatever is happening in Hong Kong as bad or insidious, it's easy to simply wrap it up in that package and say it's the evil West trying to hurt China.

> Which is to say, what if lots of young Chinese stand up and take notice that they can't watch world class professional basketball anymore ?

It is arguably the Young that start this online campaign to call NBA out. The government/brands follow the suits.

The tension is high. I think watching NBA is soon to be deemed as unpatriotic by social media, and that will be one of the long-lasting legacy of this event.


I wonder if you'll now lose social credit for watching NBA / wearing NBA products?

Social credit in a public shaming sense maybe.

There's a meme post in China Intranet, a HK guy murdered his girlfriend in Taiwan, so a mainland Chinese now can not watch NBA.

Butterfly effect.


The NBA boycotted North Carolina over HB2 (the “bathroom bill”), but doesn’t have a problem doing business in China. I hope they go bankrupt.

Exactly this. They have no claim of neutrality or being apolitical. They have already demonstrated that losing money for the sake of attacking lgbt rights is a sacrifice they're willing to make. The values of team owners and major nba stakeholders are already more in line with the ccp than the american public, so let them choke on our scorn. It's our collective responsibility to do them enough financial damage that this becomes a learning experience.

I’ll expand on this by pulling two sequential quotations in the article from NBA commissioner Adam Silver:

"It is inevitable that people around the world -- including America and China -- will have different viewpoints over different issues. It is not the role of the NBA to adjudicate those differences.”

Bullshit, see North Carolina.

“However, the NBA will not put itself in a position of regulating what players, employees and team owners say or will not say on these issues. We simply could not operate that way."

Bullshit, see Donald Sterling.


I agree with your callout of the NBA's blatant hypocrisy on adjudicating political issues, but Donald Sterling's comments were definitely not a good faith contribution regarding an issue of public contention.

>Bullshit, see Donald Sterling.

Yeah, blatant racism, including against some of the biggest stars in the NBA's history, is definitely the same thing here. That's not regulating political discourse - that's not allowing a racist to be in a position of power over the very people he is prejudiced against.


No one said anything about political discourse, just about differing opinions on various issues. Surely, racism is one of them.

And just so you know, the prevailing Chinese opinion on that is quite a bit different that what we believe in the West.


Do you think that the extent of racism is what opinions you hold?

No, but since you asked, can you tell me what racist things Donald Sterling did, besides make some comments in private?

Donald Sterling settled multiple racial discrimination lawsuits related to his openly racist criteria for putative tenants in his apartment buildings...

See e.g. https://www.espn.com/nba/news/story?id=4619819


Then we have to wonder why the NBA let him own a team in the first place.

Google is your friend.

Donald Sterling bought the Clippers in 1981. At the time, he was a former trial lawyer that had made millions purchasing and selling high-end ultra-luxury apartment/condo buildings in West LA. (He used to run multiple ads in every issue of the LA Times.)

His forays into the low-income housing developments to which the racial discrimination lawsuits relate did not begin until some years after he had purchased the Clippers. His racism was not well known because the Internet didn't exist back then and he spent millions annually on self-promotion, including sizable annual donations to the NAACP.


You're headed off into the weeds a little. The point was that the NBA does regulate what the players, owners and employees say.

>You're headed off into the weeds a little. The point was that the NBA does regulate what the players, owners and employees say.

No - I'm being realistic. Silver's point is quite obviously they do not want to step in on political disputes and things of that nature.

If anyone was taking him as saying that they wouldn't do anything if they found out an owner was spewing racist rhetoric, they're being obtuse. To take it to the point of absurdity - would you expect an owner sharing Sterling's views to be able to go around on TV repeatedly saying the N word and then use that quote from Silver as a defense and reason as to why they shouldn't be banned from the league?

The issue with that sort of behavior, and Sterling's, is that it shows he is unfit to work in a sport where roughly 75% of the players are black. How can you fairly run a team full of black players if you are plainly prejudiced against them? How can you participate in the owner's meetings where so much policy is set? It wasn't just about what he said - it was also about how it effected the professional players on his team and in the league, as well as what it could mean in the future.

Comparing Sterling's actions with someone speaking about the Hong Kong protests is horribly obtuse.


Let's give them some initial credit for being supportive of employees that support Hong Kong- They've shown more of a spine than Blizzard at this point.

>Let's give them some initial credit for being supportive of employees that support Hong Kong

Daryl Morey is not an employee of the NBA, so I don't think there's anything they could do, practically speaking.


North Carolina didn't have 4 billion dollars and a 1.3 billion person potential market to dangle in front of the NBA is why.

No, the difference was that anyone with a whit of sense knew that North Carolina would bow down to pressure, and had more to lose from the NBA taking a stance.

And now, everyone with a whit of sense knows that China will not bow to pressure, and the NBA has more to lose from taking a stance.

For some reason, they aren't keen on tilting at windmills.


Somewhat but a good bit of that pressure wouldn't have come from companies if NC had similar market power and the ability to just shut out whole companies from their market on a whim like China does.

I hope they double their profits. It's a fantastic product, even though you seem to strongly dislike it, and I'm proud of the commissioner Adam Silver for publicly standing up for freedom of speech.

This times a thousand!

I completely agree.

It's easy to be woke in US. In fact it's very profitable.

> Whether the topic is Colin Kaepernick, mass shootings or President Donald Trump, the Golden State Warriors coach is rarely shy about speaking out on difficult, controversial subjects. Except on Monday. Kerr was asked about the controversy engulfing the NBA ... He didn’t have much to say.

https://sports.yahoo.com/outspoken-warriors-coach-steve-kerr...


> That’s far from the standard Kerr response on social issues. He’s right on one point. The conflict between the people of Hong Kong and the Chinese government is complex, and speaking publicly on the topic from a place of ignorance is ill advised.

> But what’s not complicated is analyzing the NBA’s response to Morey’s comments, which places a clear priority on the league’s financial interests over human rights concerns on the other side of the world.


They did one thing right but did another thing wrong. Is that worse than doing two things wrong?

No, it only shows that they essentially have no principles at all, or at least none that they’re willing to lose money over (which is ultimately the same thing). It’s always useful when someone reveals their true moral fiber, as the NBA has done.

Why are both the same thing? If it doesn't cost me anything to fight injustice and I don't do it, that is strictly worse than if it doesn't cost me to fight injustice and I do.

Suppose the NBA gave the middle finger to Saudi Arabia but cozied up to China, would that be worse than if they cozied up to both? Your stance is wildly illogical.


It isn’t about what they did, it is the justification they gave for doing or not doing it.

If they said “we cozied up to China, but didn’t cozy up to SA because it made business sense in the former scenario but not in the latter one”, that would be one thing. But if they said “we cozied up to China because we want to stay out of politics and be neutral” while still not cozying it up to SA and flaunting how morally righteous they were for giving SA the finger, that’s a very different scenario.

At best, it is just dishonest and hypocritical.


You're talking about being strictly global utilitarian in all actions which is completely unworkable when it endangers the actor. Of course, they aren't as hard on China because of money. I don't see why they need to spell it out so as not to appear dishonest — it's so obvious that it can be assumed.

That doesn't mean it is better to also not be hard on North Carolina, which is OP's error. There is no moral framework in which appearance of hypocrisy is worse than not helping others.


Their actions also go against deontological ethics as well.

Indeed, but not doing anything in both cases is still worse in that system, which is the point. You have to do wild contortions to make doing one fewer good thing better .

It's more manipulative and does a better job of revealing their true motives. Doing a tiny good deed for manipulative reasons can be a net negative.

> Doing a tiny good deed for manipulative reasons can be a net negative.

In this case, how?


A company that does a good deed will draw attention and support away from other companies. If the good deed was done for ethical reasons, then that attention and support will feed further good deeds in the future. If it was done for manipulative reasons, then it dilutes the money going to the more ethical companies. The manipulative company is less likely to do good deeds in the future. It's more likely to ignore opportunities, or to do easier and less meaningful good deeds.

In other words, it's not a one-off. There is the same positive effect in the short term, but the long term differs.

All of that logic could easily apply to this scenario.

For a simpler scenario, if a company does a good deed to apologize for a bad deed, and the good deed is smaller but gets them off the hook, then that's a very clear net negative.


In what way would the long term effect be worse if they had not done anything in North Carolina? Did their actions in North Carolina keep them alive long enough to apologize to China?

"But why male models?"

Ah, so they just subscribe to profit ethics. It all makes sense now.

Again, is that worse than doing the wrong thing both times? Naming an action does not affect its outcome.

How so? The nature of profit ethics is that the right thing to do is what is profitable. This is exactly what they are doing in both cases. They have never done "the wrong thing".

I am asking if there exists any ethical system under which their actions are worse than doing what the original poster considers to be wrong in both cases.

See https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21207175, a reply to you well before you submitted this comment.

And see my response. You and the others in this thread are grasping for straws trying to find a way to make doing more good deeds worse than doing fewer.

Is someone claiming that it is?

i_am_nomad is. If the NBA didn't do anything in North Carolina, he wouldn't have a problem. If his issue were purely about how they dealt with China, the NBA's actions in North Carolina are not related. He says they should go bankrupt because they took action in one instance but not in the other.

Fun to see the NBA come up on HN.

One topic to bring up is how the NBA is targeting India as it's next country to try to bring basketball to [0]. What should happen to comments people might have about the India-Pakistan boarder conflict? Would the people here commenting about how rich people shouldn't be targeting China for money and growth complain about the NBA looking to grow in other markets? They've grown incredibly large in Europe over the past couple decades. Yes for money, but also popularity is fun to have, and amazing stories of players from those places.

I suppose my current stance on this, and a stance after only a few days and reading comments and posts from so many people which might change later or after responses to my comment here, is that the NBA should wave its hands and say the other countries can do what they want in terms of not even admitting the Rockets exist, or hide games completely, but reiterate that the players, GMs, and even owners, can say what they want, and that the NBA can and should continue to push the NBA to other markets.

[0] https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/04/asia/nba-india-intl-hnk-scli/...)


NBA?

How about the US government? I know in another post I made the point that we could not just call out Blizzard or other game companies but instead have to call out ALL companies that do business in China and worse crack down on their own and related who dare say something China does not approve of.

However the real party that has to be taken to task is our own governments. In the US that means both Congress and the Administration. That means all candidates for President need to state their stance NOW.

How it plays out in the EU I have no idea, news of any of their businesses or governments bending to China's will are pretty much absent from US news

edit:recently we have had major issues with privacy concerns, losing freedom of speech is a form of that as well.


>How it plays out in the EU I have no idea, news of any of their businesses or governments bending to China's will are pretty much absent from US news

EU governments and companies bend over for China way easier than in the US as there's a huge lack on unity in the EU where it's every country for itself like when China protested on Norway's leaders not meeting the Dalai Lama and Norway complied.[1]

[1]https://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/08/world/europe/norways-lead...


Not quite true.

* Vilnius takes down ads after China promotes unsanctioned commemoration – 'it's a geopolitical provocation' [1]

* Lithuania hands note to China over incident during Hong Kong support rally in Vilnius [2]

[1] https://www.lrt.lt/naujienos/news-in-english/19/1100141/viln...

[2] https://www.lrt.lt/naujienos/news-in-english/19/1093636/lith...

Edit: Included titles


It’d be much worse if what you say was completely true, though certainly there are idiot countries trying to fool everyone including themselves that doing business with dictators is good for them.

How so?

I think it's the opposite if you actually want to make a difference. Pressure works best when it's concentrated. Protesting every, or most, or many companies will be extremely difficult and likely make no difference. Targeting a single egregious offender and punishing them until they change will motivate other companies not to be the nail sticking out lest they face the hammer of public opinion.

Sadly, I think there's not enough public will to punish entities like the NBA or Blizzard for their servile behavior.


> How about the US government?

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/04/trump-china-ho...

Clearly our chief executive is happy to silence efforts. All for support re-electing him.

Why China would agree I don't know (the Falun Gong who hates the current Chinese government was, a few months ago the top-dollar supporter of the Trump campaign, not to mention the trade war).


>Clearly our chief executive is happy to silence efforts.

Ok, so maybe Trump is remaining silent on the Hong Kong protests, but let's not pretend that he hasn't put the screws to China or talked often about their corrupt mercantile practices. Trump has been an anti-China force.


How about getting your morality and your values from organized religion or your personal spirituality and not from a bunch of multi-millionaires who throw a ball around? Organized religion is not allowed in China either.

You know something is allowed in China if it traces all its authority back to exist back to the party. That's how communism has always operated. The success of the party was the highest goal of highest goals that lead to all the purges and terrors throughout history.


China presents a huge opportunity for growth to the NBA, and this is a really crucial period for them as it seems like the NFL's stranglehold might be weakening and extra money to reinvest might help that process. I don't understand how people can act like losing the Chinese market is some sort of trivial decision?!?

I would love for the NBA to stand up to China on this issue, but it IS NOT AN EASY OR OBVIOUS DECISION.


Money or surrender to evil. It's pretty simple.

money is evil. It's either evil or two evils.

Money is not evil, the love of money is.

Seeing how we live in capitalism - money it is.

Remember when Google, promised it wouldn't kowtow to China? Then kowtowed anyway.


Except they didn't. Project Dragonfly was cancelled after Google employees rebelled against it.

A better example would be how Apple quietly shared iCloud user data with the Chinese government.


It was stopped by the employees tho.

Easy morally, hard economically.

[flagged]


To be fair, we only know about organs being harvested from people being executed in the normal criminal courts (with a 99% conviction rate, but still). As yet we have no public numbers on the kill rate of Uighurs, they are quite possibly just doing brutal re-education, old-school Cultural Revolution style.

Its a binary choice.

You either stand against tyranny, or support it.

There is no middle ground, and this needs to be made clear to every company that is faced with this decision.



This got me to watch some South Park. I was at least few seasons behind. The show is still interesting and has some strong episodes.

Episode "Dead Kids" for example (about school shootings) is amazing, and its ending is absolutely brutal. I know it will stay with me for years.

https://southpark.cc.com/full-episodes/s22e01-dead-kids


Is this a dilemma though?

In fact, the more I think about this, is this even a problem?

I've been on Weibo a bit looking at reactions to all this, and here's the thing, if your average mainlander is upset and no longer wants to have anything to do with you, which, judging from the volume of comments seems to be true, why is that necessarily a problem?

People can say whatever they want. And other people can associate with whoever they want. Again, the more I thought about it, the more it struck me as simple Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Association in action.

Fine. Just don't watch NBA anymore. You have the CBA anyway. No worries and no hard feelings. You do your thing in China and we'll do ours in the US.


cool

The 4 Billion Dollar Tweet. That will surely end up as the title on some future youtube video.

South Park made the best analysis of this :) cf the last episode

If you want to do business in China, you have to comply with Chinese laws including those on speech. If you do not want to comply with those laws, you cannot do business in China. Both are fine and both are legal, but you cannot have it both ways at the same time.

You cannot flout the laws in China and continue to do business in China. This should also be reciprocal: Chinese companies should not be able to do business in the United States while flouting the laws of the United States.


If anyone is curious about what the pro China arguments look like: https://www.reddit.com/r/Sino/comments/df2mym/blizzard_pulls...

It's not much of a dilemma though, is it? Already-rich folks kowtowing to fascists for a quick buck is beyond pathetic.

US companies should stop targeting China for growth. If they don't steal your IP completely, they'll eventually freeze you out like they just did the NBA. It's happened to many companies and will eventually happen to you too. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.


There's a reason that, historically, fascists cozied up to the ownership class. People who operate on the assumption that they must profit over everything else are easily coerced into aligning their interests with those of fascists.

It is more accurate to say allied rather than coerced. They use the fascists to stabilize societies on the brink of rejecting them and the fascists use the rich to fund and empower their movements.

The rich have historically just been open fascists as well; in a lot of cases they're not distinct colluding entities, but instead one and the same.

Henry Ford's personal newspaper wrote at length about the Jewish problem, was the only American mentioned in Mein Kampf (and impressed Hitler so much that the idea of the Volkswagen came from the Model T), and was awarded Nazi Germany's highest civilian award.

Prescott Bush (George H W Bush's father, and George W Bush's grandfather) among others attempted a fascist military overthrow of the US government known as The Business Plot.

And Walt Disney attended Bund meetings in the US through the 1930s, and was widely known as a Nazi sympathizer.


Exactly. Ford was a big fan of Hitler and actively helped Franco. Not because he was coerced, he was too clever for that, but because fasciste state keep the working class crushed which is perfect for capitalist like him.



China has intentionally conflated dealings with government cartels with capitalist enterprise. Its just a means to obscure what would otherwise be called "treason" and sweep under the rug any notion that your business can be, "nationalized" at their whim.

I don't understand how American businesses didn't learn their lesson in Cuba in the 60's?


What would that lesson be?

US and American businesses did fine business with the Cuban dictatorship of Batista:

"Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar (/bəˈtiːstə/;[1] Spanish: [fulˈxensjo βaˈtista i salˈdiβaɾ]; born Rubén Zaldívar;[2] January 16, 1901 – August 6, 1973) was a Cuban military officer and politician who served as the elected President of Cuba from 1940 to 1944, and as its U.S.-backed military dictator from 1952 to 1959, before being overthrown during the Cuban Revolution."

I guess the takeaway is: "Do business with friendly dictatorships we helped install, as opposed to independent ones".


Exactly!

>Already-rich folks kowtowing to fascists for a quick buck is beyond pathetic.

Most NBA team owners are already billionaires. I believe most of them are self-made and have signed the giving pledge, meaning they will donate much of their wealth to charities at or before their death. If anyone can afford to take a stand, it would seem to be them.


The owner of the Nets is an executive at Alibaba. He will follow the party line and has (calling Hong Kong protestors “separatists”, etc.)

The jersey sponsor of the LA Lakers is Wish.com, a company doing drop shipping from China.

LeBron James is sponsored by Nike (as are all of the jerseys) and Nike has significant interest in keeping the Chinese market open. LeBron is leading production of Space Jam 2. He won’t jeopardize international acclaim and box office revenue for this.

This is the same for every other player. Sponsorship deals with apparel companies are a huge source of income. Few stars are untouchable and the ones who are wont risk other business interests.


Disney owns ESPN, and also has had to deal with recent censorship of Winnie the Pooh in China (which is a different story altogether).

I'm suspecting there are quite a number of other business dealings between China and those who sit on boards of American companies. That would create an enormous tangle of conflict of interest. China doesn't need a military to conquer, as these business relationships seem to be doing the job well enough.


I know that your point might be "there's too much to give up", but I believe OP's point is why can't these people give them up?

Quick google search for NBA stars' pay: https://www.shmoop.com/careers/basketball-player/salary.html

At the top you have folks with $30m in salary and $30m in endorsements. Even if they lose all endorsements (and they won't), there's still $30m in salary left. Average stars make $5m/year for 5 years. That's certainly enough money for a lifetime of pretty good living. These are the folks who can afford to take a stand, is what OP means. In contrast, if the average office worker takes a stand and loses their $60k/year job, life would be really difficult for them.


The counterpoint is that LeBron James already makes over $35 million per year (not counting endorsements -- his net worth is in the hundreds of millions) and therefore is actually in an excellent position to take a stand against a dictatorship. After some threshold, ludicrously rich people aligning themselves with dictators just so they can become even more rich makes them just as bad and worthy of denigration.

And provide a powerful lesson for the children in his sponsored school, there is more to life that money and standing up to bullies is the right thing to do even if you must have consequences.

As Michael Jordan didn't say... "Republicans buy sneakers too." Billionaires didn't get to be billionaires by leaving money on the table. We need large scale political action against China.

We need to adopt an economic system that doesn't prize currency above human dignity.

Isn't that what communism/Marxism is supposed to be? "Each according to his ability to each according to his needs?"

"supposed to be" is the key part of the sentence.

So we should be like the Chinese and prize power over human dignity instead?

False dilemma much?

Let's look at some large scale political action in the past:

1. Invade Iraq. 4000+ Americans dead, over 1 million Iraqi died.

2. Bombed Libya, it is now a $democratic_wonderland.

I'm not putting Afghanistan here because I think it's justified, but then why are we still there after Bin Laden's dead?

How about just minding our own business. If China don't want to watch NBA, then so be it. If you don't want to buy shit made in China, then don't buy it.


> How about just minding our own business

A foreign country telling Americans what they can and cannot say very much is my business.


I mean, its only because the company let's them isn't it? The NBA, and pretty much every company, has could totally ignore China telling them what to do, but they would rather take the money.

I think that's a false equivalence, China has no power telling you what to do and you know it. And any customer would have the power to not buy your product and its their right.

You can say whatever you want, but they might not want to throw money at you if you start shit talking their regime and it's values. Is that not free speech?

why would afghanistan be justified?

he said political, not military

Billionaire's shouldn't exist. Name literally one benefit of having a billionaire in our society. Any one thing we wouldn't otherwise have.

Benefit #1: Make a top list of billionaires and have people gossip about it.

#2 Sell regular folks the idea that they _may_ one day become billionaires too, convince them that they should vote down any tax increase on the 1%; Continue brainwashing them that there's plenty of room at the top, maybe, just maybe room opens up for them as well.

#3 Monetize on the image of billionaires and sell luxury goods and billionaire lifestyle to poor cretins


Are these supposed to be benefits?

The benefit of billionaires existing is that they made extraordinarily valuable businesses. Take Steve Jobs or Bill Gates - if they didn’t exist then Apple and Microsoft wouldn’t either. If Notch didn’t exist then neither would Minecraft.

If you create something (a company, a video game, other IP), and people value that thing at a billion dollars, then you’re a billionaire. Notch became a billionaire after selling Minecraft because almost 100 million people play it.

What do you expect should happen if someone creates a thing of value worth a billion dollars? Do you not want these things to be created? Do you not want them to be sold? (Ownership has to change hands eventually; people don’t live forever). How are you expecting society would work?

Reaping what you sow provides the incentive to work hard in our society. Related: http://www.paulgraham.com/ineq.html


> What do you expect should happen if someone creates a thing of value worth a billion dollars?

Let them have 50 or 100 million, then put the rest in the hands of the other people that worked to make it happen. If all of those people are now rich, then use the excess money to help the impoverished.

> Reaping what you sow provides the incentive to work hard in our society.

It's not binary. People don't get all the money or none of it. You can still have ridiculously large amounts of monetary incentive without it being possible to hit a billion dollars.


> The benefit of billionaires existing is that they made extraordinarily valuable businesses.

Debatable depending which business, and also highly subjective. Amazon is valuable to Wall Street, yes most certainly. It also generates massive amounts of garbage, pollution, and human suffering. Are we including those in the value statement or are we going by the capitalist axiom that as long as the number went upward, the non-financial cost doesn't matter?

> If you create something (a company, a video game, other IP), and people value that thing at a billion dollars, then you’re a billionaire. Notch became a billionaire after selling Minecraft because almost 100 million people play it.

So the system works because the system is working? This is circular logic at it's finest. I don't care what Microsoft decided Minecraft was worth, they're an equally diseased part of a diseased system. It's like saying "this cancerous tumor isn't a problem, because the other cancerous tumor vouched for it." So what? I don't place value on the opinions of capitalists on the value of the capitalist system. Can you justify it without citing a capitalist?

> What do you expect should happen if someone creates a thing of value worth a billion dollars? Do you not want these things to be created? Do you not want them to be sold? (Ownership has to change hands eventually; people don’t live forever). How are you expecting society would work?

You're working all of this from the viewpoint that markets, capitalism, and competition are the only ways to generate stuff. Not only is that not the case, and I would cite the entire open source community as evidence to that fact, but I reject outright the assertions that:

1) The only things that have value are the ones where the value is expressed in currency

2) That the only arbiters of value are those who place values in the form of currency

There are tons of examples of things created with no monetization plan that are great. There are tons more things created with a monetization plan out of necessity, because without one they could not exist.

Again and again criticism of capitalism is met with this assertion that "well things have value and therefore we need to respect the market" and I flatly reject that. We're all locked in the same prison, every idea, every concept rung through this machine that decides whether or not something deserves to exist by it's ability to contribute to a market. A market built by people, allegedly for people, that is for some reason simply beyond reproach. Capitalism has ballooned to practically another religion, and you are a follower of it, so dedicated to it's holy texts you've entirely forgotten that human civilization existed for THOUSANDS of years before we had a bloody market.

Sod your market.


[flagged]


We've banned this account for repeatedly breaking the site guidelines and ignoring our requests to stop.

If you don't want to be banned, you're welcome to email hn@ycombinator.com and give us reason to believe that you'll follow the rules in the future.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


Tesla, SpaceX, and ending polio?

Yes because I’m sure you know what's best for billions of Chinese. They must be all dying to overthrow their government.

Your rhetoric is naive at best and racist at worst. It’s racist because you are disenfranchising the potential voice and sovereignty of a whole ethnicity and country because private interests in your own country can’t get their way over there.

The hong kong protestors have started getting their way. They don’t need poorly informed observers to fan the flames (on either side).


There is a difference between the Chinese government and the Chinese people. The parent is (presumably) calling for action against the Chinese government, because what the Chinese government wants is harmful to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and other basic rights. This is not an attack on the Chinese people.

In general, one has to be careful about conflating the interests of the Chinese government and the Chinese people. They're not the same thing, although the Chinese government tries to portray it as such. Speaking out against the Chinese government is not the same as speaking out against Chinese people.


This is the second time I think I've seen this on hackernews in two days, no one is conflating the two anymore or less than when someone says, "America runs terrorist campaigns in the Middle East." People understand that the meaning is the state, nothing is a monolith although everybody must step up to the table and own up to the fact that we are all in part responsible for the actions of our comminutes.

We know who the dictator is, it isn't billions of people, it is one man.


I think the parent (chrischen's comment) was conflating the two.

What's being conflated is that somehow the government there does not represent the people. They do, maybe not in the way Americans like, but Americans don't pay taxes to China, and Americans do not take care of the Chinese. The Chinese government takes care of the Chinese there. Whether they do it effectively is another matter, but one thing's for certain is that a Chinese person has more agency within the Chinese government than they do with the American government (or any foreign government/interests for that matter). So to impose the values of one culture on another without taking in their input is racism.

Yes there are other Chinese in countries like Malaysia, Singapore, and Taiwan, but that's not the point here. Just because the racism doesn't target those Chinese doesn't mean there is a sense of cultural and moral superiority being levied on a different culture here.

Keep in mind that Singapore is also very authoritarian, but does not get as much flak for whatever reason (probably because they are not rivaling the US).


Yes and I'm saying it's presumptuous to say that the Chinese (people) do not support their own government and want them out as much as a foreigner who is not subject to the life outside the comforts of The United States (or whatever other Western democracy).

Might seem persnickety, but criticism of mainland China can't be racism because Taiwanese are the same race and people aren't criticising them for this kind of thing (because they don't do it). It's really not even criticism of the Chinese people, who have no say in the matter either way and tend to be harshly punished for disagreeing.

In the end it's all just criticism of a specific government. Doesn't need to go further than that.


And the vast majority of Chinese people in China do support the government, for doing, among other things, bringing hundreds of millions out of poverty. The primary beneficiary of the Chinese government is the Chinese people there, and attacking the government is an indirect attack on the people there because The USA government, Australia, or any other non China government is not going to take after Chinese citizens.

Uh, do they? How do you know? The opinions of mainland Chinese about their government are completely worthless; they simply aren't allowed to disagree or learn about the world in a neutral manner.

For example, the Chinese government has not "lifted millions out of poverty", that's pure propaganda. Human society lifts itself out of poverty when not prevented from doing so by totalitarian governments. Japan was destroyed by war and became a rich first world nation within decades. South Korea became fully developed in also just a few decades. Plenty of other examples of that.

China is behind the rest of the world because of its government. If it weren't for the Great Leap Forward and then decades of economically devastating communism, China would be as developed as the USA or South Korea is by now. The fact that its people are still so poor can be laid squarely at the feet of its government.

But how many Chinese will think that? Probably not many. They are stuck in a system designed to mould them into loyal subjects from birth.


It's weird to hear you describe Xi Jinping's dictatorship as the voice and sovereignty of the people.

You'd be surprised how much support the government has in China, among Chinese people, even if they oppress some of their people. But just because they don't hold public elections doesn't mean they do not draw their legitimacy from the people. And furthermore, if they did not have a legitimate claim to power the people of China can overthrow them, not a foreigner. They don't need the US to install a leader for them.

> But just because they don't hold public elections doesn't mean they do not draw their legitimacy from the people

Got any other zingers you want to tell me with a straight face?


They do have elections... you just have to join the communist party. Much like how you would have to join one of two political parties here to have a practical vote, and even then you have to navigate the tricky electoral college that disenfranchises some voters.

This is impossible to know because of how censorship works.

It is “impossible” by your definition everywhere then. There is misinformation and propaganda everywhere. Spin is propaganda, advertising is propaganda, and FOX News is propaganda.

You gauge by whoever takes political action, whether or not you think they are properly informed.


> He will follow the party line and has (calling Hong Kong protestors “separatists”, etc.)

Is 'Hong Kong separatist' any different to 'Ulster unionist' in acceptability to each side? It sounds like a neutral description to me.


I don't know if it's neutral or not, but it's just factually incorrect. The five demands of the protestors (now six actually) do not include anything about separatism/independent state. (See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_Hong_Kong_protests#Object...)

The fact that someone as prominent as Joe Tsai made such a factually incorrect public statement is a bit bothersome; and seems to suggest that there's truth in that Chinese media really wants to portray the protests as separatists movements (which is not true) to its people. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reactions_to_the_2019_Hong_Kon...)

The thing is, Joe is right in the rest of his post -- everything about China's sensitivity to territories and separatists movements. It's that his categorization of Hong Kong's movement is wrong, which makes the whole argument invalid.


>calling Hong Kong protesters “separatists”, etc.

Devil's advocate here...Are they not separatist? If not, shouldn't they be?

It's hard to imagine your "country" working on a death clock. In 2047 it all ends. So, what is the point of fighting the good fight at this point? Why not face the inevitable and leave while you can? Or fight for a final independence now, while you can?


Well, they have five demands and the most "radical" of them is being able to vote for your own representatives. Being represented in your own government is a far cry from being a separatist.

Most separatists are probably protestors, but that does not imply most protestors are separatists.


the most radical part about them isn't their formal demands, it's viciously assaulting pedestrians while screaming slurs

Actually, I don't think that's radical at all.

It's to stop calling it a riot and release anybody who is arrested because of it.

Just because you're rioting for democracy, doesn't mean it's not a riot, and it doesn't grant those who used it as an opportunity to vandalize shops and destroy subways a free pass. That directly conflicts with the rule of law.


> Devil's advocate here...Are they not separatist? If not, shouldn't they be?

These are their demands (more or less):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_Hong_Kong_protests#Object...

Full-on separatism would give the PLA a more plausible reason to declare an insurrection and go full Tiananmen Square. Also, a lot of HKers who support the existing demands would not be on board with it.


> So, what is the point of fighting the good fight at this point? Why not face the inevitable and leave while you can? Or fight for a final independence now, while you can?

Because there's still 28 years to go, and a lot can happen in 28 years.


Thanks for hitting the heart of the matter.

A lot can happen in that time. Given the direction of things, do you think it will be better? I guess I don't.

When HK is supposed to hand itself over to China's rule in 2047, do you think there will be ANY international support for their independence? I don't. That would be directly against the deal that was struck.

Wouldn't it be better to use China's interference as a pretext for independence, claiming it was China who has broken the bargain?

American independence wasn't about a tea tax or a few soldiers defending themselves in Boston. It was about inevitability and using those events to propel it.


> When HK is supposed to hand itself over to China's rule in 2047

In 1982, pretty much everyone assumed the Soviet Union was still going to be around in 1992, but it wasn't.

Who knows what China will look like in 2047. A lot can happen in 28 years.


"can afford to" doesn't overlap much with "is likely to".

hell, the rockets ownership allegedly discussed removing "one of the best GMs in the league": https://www.theringer.com/nba/2019/10/6/20901828/daryl-morey...

and give me a break about the giving pledge. when people are dead, access to their money doesn't matter. if they want to earn some sort of altruistic "cred", they can donate 90% of their net worth, today, and still be in the 100 millionaire club.

go ahead and let me know when any one of these people does that.


> "one of the best GMs in the league"

I suppose China has no small part of the greatness. Maybe removing that part actually make him removable and far from "one of the greatest"?


The part-owner of the Lakers tried to sell his major entertainment empire of American icons to the government of Qatar. He canceled the deal because the offer was too low.

This is the same guy who has two former employees, one is a newer Supreme Court Justice that he allegedly spent $10 million in dark money helping and the other is a US Senator whose running for President. He also happens to own Coachella despite fighting legal weed and donating to anti-gay groups in the past.


> I believe most of them are self-made and have signed the giving pledge

Why do you believe this? As far as I can tell Dan Gilbert is the only one I see on that list.


NBA team owners are self-made billionaires ... in what universe is this again?

But how else are US CEOs supposed to get Merit Cross of the German Eagle with Star?

https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=26634


Modern China is like a dystopian alternate history novel where the bad guys won.

Also not new at all. Money talks, even if it means only saying the things the highest bidder allows you to say.

The NBA has an advantage that other companies don't have. Their product can't be knocked off, and their talent level can't be matched by outside leagues. They have so much leverage to just walk away. The NBA is huge in China, fans will be more upset at their government than the NBA.

I think you underestimate the nationalist / brain washing of the general public in China. People in China will blindly support the face of their country over something like sports without question.

NBA used to be pretty big in Europe too in the early 1990s, especially after the 1992 Olympics and its Dream Team, but I think poor/unhappy TV deals have killed that momentum and now football is all-dominating.

Not saying that NBA and basket generally speaking is not important anymore for Europeans, because it is, but there was a slight moment during the timeframe I mentioned when the likes of Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Larry Bird, Sabonis or Toni Kukoc were more famous than many footballers of that time. But in the second part of the '90s something happened and apart from a few exceptions (like LeBron or Kobe) no big NBA names from across the Atlantic have been widely known in here. Which is to say that it's totally possible for the NBA to lose the Chinese market.


And they'll all protest in silence.

That's better than the West kowtowing to China, silence eventually will find its voice.

True. It would also be better to be able to appreciate an entity that isn't so morally bankrupt and profit driven.

> It's not much of a dilemma though, is it? Already-rich folks kowtowing to fascists for a quick buck is beyond pathetic.

This ignores human nature and basic incentives. Of course it's not much of a dilemma for you and me. We aren't the ones who stand to gain or lose hundreds millions of dollars. It shouldn't be shocking that many people with skin in the game feel differently.

And I don't think it has much to do with being rich. I suspect plenty of thousandairs would happily kowtow to fascists for a few weeks in return for a six-figure payday.


It's a dilemma in that neither the NBA nor their Chinese fans necessarily want to be dragged into this particular crossfire. Even if you're pro-confrontation over various issues, shared enjoyment of basketball is like the last battlefield I'd choose.

I liked Silver's response. Respectfully but firmly refusing to get into regulating the politics of however many players and employees.


>Already-rich folks kowtowing to fascists for a quick buck is beyond pathetic.

fascist != authoritarian, it also about long term business opportunities. Selling NBA product for decades to come is hardly quick buck.

You are mostly right on the rest though - for the spherical cow in vacuum type of corporation that can ignore 1/6 of the world's population.

China is big player. Ascending superpowers tend to like flexing muscles and rocking the boat.


China is just flexing its financial muscle to try and tamp down what's going on in Hong Kong. The fact is, US companies does this on a regular basis to get vendors to comply to their crazy demands.

Tim Cook was Apple's strongman who basically blackmailed Apple's entire Chinese supply chain to meet insane shipping and quality standards. Amazon has done it with their local delivery contracts with third party vendors. Forcing them to meet unrealistic delivery goals all the while detaching themselves from any responsibility for what happens when their vendors push themselves too much and people start dying.

I do agree wholeheartedly about how any company, in the US or abroad should stop targeting China for their growth.


There is a big difference between demanding your supply chain to meet your shipping and quality standards and demanding your supply chain to toe your political and ideological line.

Okay

Foreign organizations wishing to do business in US encounter restrictions and conformity that they too would find foreign. Dont criticize Jewish people or Israeli policy if you want to do business in the US. Easy! But a foreign concept to many. In the US its people and private sector will cause most of the headache, and you might find some discretionary import privileges stonewalled by ITC or other gov agencies.

Its really not that different just because China has top down control which it arbitrarily flexes on a topic that coincidentally is much more important to you. We believe that publicly made speech in an unofficial capacity should have no consequences from state level actors, surprise. We believe that the speech on this particular issue is the right thing to do, surprise there are consequences and China doesnt want you opining on “sovereignty issues”.

If you want to do business there you have to understand that.

Now you know why Jackie Chan says pro beijing things. If you’re perceptive and want favor from that very large market thats how you do it.

Exiting any market is always an option.


The "blackmailing" you describe is called "business".

I don't recall Apple demanding that their Chinese suppliers stay silent about Apple concentration camps or otherwise risk losing the business.


They didn't have to - the Chinese government did it all by themselves.

The equivalent would be Apple banning a Chinese app from the App Store because there was content critical of US government policy.

I generally dislike this solution but could this be countered with a lawsuit? Meaning, could Morey sue the NBA? I know the 1st Amendment doesn't really apply to corporations so it probably doesn't come into play.

They're communists.

It's not really correct to say China is a communist country.

Under Deng Xiaoping, China gradually undid the economic structures that define communism and moved to a market-driven economy. Today it is essentially a free market economy with maybe a little more government intervention than most other free market economies. China is communist in name only.


"After World War II, the Chinese Communist Party under MAO Zedong established an autocratic socialist system that, while ensuring China's sovereignty, imposed strict controls over everyday life and cost the lives of tens of millions of people. After 1978, MAO's successor DENG Xiaoping and other leaders focused on market-oriented economic development and by 2000 output had quadrupled. For much of the population, living standards have improved dramatically but political controls remain tight. Since the early 1990s, China has increased its global outreach and participation in international organizations."

I don't understand how this comment is related to my parent comment.

>> "... kowtowing to fascists ..."

"Fascists" is probably not a good description of the Chinese Communist Party, since Fascism is widely regarded as always and everywhere the diametric opposite/enemy of Communism and Communists. Examples of this include [0] and [1] and [2] and [3], which are the results of me googling "is fascism the enemy of communism?" for 5 seconds. Probably you mean "Totalitarians" or "Statists" or "Authoritarian Governments" or something like that.

This is pedantic but lots of the discussion downthread seems to hinge on this point of equating "Chinese Communists" with "Fascists," and that's imho a totally false premise.

Oftentimes people say things like "Well the Chinese are commies in name only" and similar, and this might be semi-or-mostly true, but it's a bit of a leap from there to calling them fascists.

[0] "Mussolini, with his anti-Communist doctrines..." from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benito_Mussolini

[1] "In Hitler's mind, communism was a major enemy of Germany ... Hitler claimed that his singular goal was to assist the German government in "fighting Marxism". Marxism, Bolshevism, and communism were interchangeable terms for Hitler..." from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_views_of_Adolf_Hitle...

[2] "Fascism is often considered to be a reaction to communist and socialist uprisings..." from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-communism

[3] "...in the early 1920s the Nazis were only one of many nationalist and fascist political parties contending for the leadership of Germany's anti-communist movement" also from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-communism


> Fascism is widely regarded as always and everywhere the opposite/enemy of Communism and Communists.

By who? Is there a reason for this?

Fascism's self-description is basically just the motto "united we stand, divided we fall". It's right there in the name. As a philosophy, I know it best for strict intolerance of public dissent. That sort of thing undermines unity.

And that's pretty much it. I would have said that "fascism" in modern American usage had lost all meaning other than as a generic term of abuse; I would never have guessed that it was supposed to mean "the opposite of communism, whatever that might mean". "The opposite of communism" is usually considered to be capitalism.

But there seem to be many good correspondences between Chinese practice today and original, Mussolini-style fascism.


>> "By who?"

First and foremost, by the inventors of fascism themselves, as I tried to show in some stealth edits in my comment above.


The inventors of fascism cannot satisfy the claim "is widely regarded", for the two reasons that (1) they are a very small group confined to a restricted area; and (2) they're all dead and do not currently regard anything as anything.

It's difficult to take a look at modern China and call it communist with a straight face.

Communism is a utopian ideology from the 19th century. That doesn't mean communists don't exist, and the people who advocate that ideology aren't communists. Of course China isn't a communist society. Nowhere is or ever will be.

It's a bit like saying Tom Cruise isn't a real scientologist because Xenu doesn't exist.


Communist hunter-gather societies have been studied extensively and it's the earliest forms of production.

Fascism and Communism differ mainly in their aesthetic. The universal end result is authoritarianism and mass suffering. If they were diametric opposites, China would never have been able to pivot so quickly and easily from fairly orthodox communism during the Mao years to the sort of Fascist/state capitalist model they use now.

Which communist society was not "State Capitalist"? IIRC State Capitalism is a term invented by Trotsky, who used it to describe state control of the economy is opposed to workers control in the utopian vision of communism. But the early USSR rapidly abolished the workers councils while he was still a major figure in the USSR.

Fascists and Communists are very similar. Mussolini used to be a marxist, the Nazi party started out as an explicitly socialist party and was until Hitler took over. Many people today call the regimes of Mainland China and North Korea fascist. People used to call Chiang Kai Sheks regime fascist, but earlier in his career he was the "red general".

The two seem to always be found near each other.


Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

Sun Tzu said that the supreme excellence consists of defeating your enemy without fighting.

Guess what, we are ruled from Beijing now.


What if it impacts US citizen's pension funds or other (public?) investing strategies ? It's not like financial assets aren't intermixed.

So what if it does? Some things are not worth that additional bump in stock prices.

$4B isn't a bump in stock prices though, right ?

Anyway, I am not crying over the top 1% losing money over that, I am talking about the paycheck to paycheck workers whose means of subsistence depends on their employers doing okay.

I am not saying Chinese products shouldn't be boycotted or that China shouldn't be pressured into aligning better with western values but who is going to pay in the end ?


If it's someone's job to dump raw industrial waste in the river, and stricter environmental regulations cause them to lose their job, I'm ok with that.

That's why we have unemployment benefits, and why most countries do things like have health care that's separate from employment.


> If it's someone's job to dump raw industrial waste in the river, and stricter environmental regulations cause them to lose their job, I'm ok with that.

I am not talking about Chinese workers losing jobs, I am talking about US citizens being collateral damage next month when Random Mother Corpo ® decides to lay off an arbitrary number of workers way down the corporate ladder in order to compensate for the bad previsions for next quarter due to $4B of revenues disappearing from the market.

edit: I believe you are intentionally derailing the conversation by moving the goal post (by moving from US citizens concerns to other countries with healthcare and social net and then reframing the problem as an environmental problem).


If a company has to do layoffs because they're doing something "wrong", I'm fine with that. The toxic waste thing is just a simple example.

I think there should be policies in place to help people who lose their jobs for whatever reason.


> If a company has to do layoffs because they're doing something "wrong", I'm fine with that. The toxic waste thing is just a simple example.

But the company doing the layoff isn't the same as the company doing the "wrong" thing. Think of the guy selling burgers in front of the stadium not meeting the quota because ticket prices surged and less people buy burgers or the bar owner selling less drinks because suddenly the rights to show NBA games rose up in order to compensate for the $4B of revenues disappearing and he has in turn to pass the buckets to his regular who either buy less drinks or shell out more money than before.

edit: I specifically wrote Random Mother Corpo® as in NOT THE NBA . To illustrate the fact that companies and the economy is inter-connected. That boycotting some company or country has some side-effects which bring collateral damage.


It's impossible to predict exactly what happens where in a complex market economy, but yes, there could certainly be 'collateral damage', just as there could be indirect effects from ending pollution, or saving an endangered species or any number of other things.

Public companies can’t afford to do that. They’ve probably been aware that this can happen for many years. They simply had no choice because their competitors might beat them to market and their shareholders might sue them for shirking their fiduciary duty.

So Google pulled out of China, and their shareholders didn't sue them (that I could find. Though even if they did, apparently it didn't cause them to go back into China). The shareholders did sue them to halt their plans for a censored Chinese search engine (which failed, but they tried).

Yes, a company has a fiduciary duty to shareholders, but there are lots of ways to fulfill that duty. There's no requirement that they expand into China. Many companies don't and it's fine


The point is that Google entered the Chinese market like everyone else. When they pulled out the writing was on the wall anyway: China was rigging the game in favour of Baidu.

This isn’t the case so much for the NBA or Apple. The NBA has no equivalent and Apple has all of their manufacturing in China. Both stand to lose far more money by exiting the Chinese market than Google ever did.


>Though even if they did, apparently it didn't cause them to go back into China

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragonfly_(search_engine)


Right, sorry, so Dragonfly is the thing the shareholders sued to stop. I assumed that was not the result of shareholders suing them to go into china

> their shareholders might sue them for shirking their fiduciary duty

Then be laughed out of court right after filing for having no legal basis.


Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: