China Censors NBA, Blizzard and Several Companies

Blizzard%2C+the+NBA+and+Apple+have+been+influenced+by+the+Chinese+government.+%28Photo+from+the+AP%29
Back to Article
Back to Article

China Censors NBA, Blizzard and Several Companies

Blizzard, the NBA and Apple have been influenced by the Chinese government. (Photo from the AP)

Blizzard, the NBA and Apple have been influenced by the Chinese government. (Photo from the AP)

Blizzard, the NBA and Apple have been influenced by the Chinese government. (Photo from the AP)

Blizzard, the NBA and Apple have been influenced by the Chinese government. (Photo from the AP)

Nicholas Sack, Staff Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






After a seven-word tweet, a national discussion has begun, prompting an informal investigation into American companies being dominated by Chinese censorship.

“Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.” This tweet from the General Manager of the Houston Rockets, Daryl Morey, sparked outrage from the Chinese government. And provoking China could potentially be disastrous for the NBA.

According to David Carter, executive director of the USC Sports Business Institute, China makes up at least 10% of the league’s current revenue, and is projected to become 20% of their revenue by 2030.

This puts the NBA, and many other American companies at a crossroads. These companies could choose to cave to Chinese demands and appear weak on civil liberties, or go against China and lose major economic prospects. One Redditor compiled a list of companies who are under China’s censorship orders. Here are a few of them.

Activision Blizzard recently banned a player for supporting Hong Kong’s democratic protest. They confiscated his prize money and fired two casters who interviewed him. Blizzard has now decreased his ban and returned a portion of his prize money.

Apple removes the Taiwanese flag in Hong Kong and Macau. They also censor some artists who post pro-Hong Kong music.

Disney/Marvel in “Doctor Strange” changed the character, “The Ancient One,” from a Tibetan monk in the comics, to a white woman in the movie.

“He originates from Tibet,” C. Robert Cargill, the “Doctor Strange” screenwriter, said during the “Double Toasted” podcast. “So if you acknowledge that Tibet is a place and that he’s Tibetan, you risk alienating one billion people who think that that’s bullsh*t and risk the Chinese government going, ‘Hey, you know one of the biggest film-watching countries in the world? We’re not going to show your movie because you decided to get political.’”

Gap issued an apology to China after selling t-shirts in Canada that did not list Taiwan and the South China Sea Islands as a part of Chinese territory.

Tik Tok, which is owned by the Chinese company, ByteDance, actively censor videos referencing Tiananmen Square and Tibetan Independence.

Chinese censors have been active since around 1998, when the birth of the Internet prompted China’s ruling Communist Party to begin censoring anti-government messages. They censored things such as Tiananmen Square, a major democratic protest, where the Chinese army massacred an estimated 10,000 people. Adding to that, China now censors popular Disney teddy bear, Winnie the Pooh, due to a resemblance to China’s President, Xi Jinping.

China’s dominance in censorship wassomewhat secretive, but now it has come center-stage, with many American companies being either exposed for falling to Chinese demands, or coming forward to stand for freedom of expression. The encounter with the NBA was just the first major event in the recent development.