Hong Kong central bank cuts lenders’ cash reserves to support economy amid protests

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority is displayed outside Two International Finance Centre in Hong Kong on June 19, 2013. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has cut the amount of cash that banks must keep as reserves, releasing an extra HK$200-300 billion ($25.50-38.24 billion) into the broader economy which has been hit by months-long protests and the U.S.-China trade war. “Economic indicators and other relevant evidence have signalled that the economic environment in Hong Kong has deteriorate


The Hong Kong Monetary Authority is displayed outside Two International Finance Centre in Hong Kong on June 19, 2013. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has cut the amount of cash that banks must keep as reserves, releasing an extra HK$200-300 billion ($25.50-38.24 billion) into the broader economy which has been hit by months-long protests and the U.S.-China trade war. “Economic indicators and other relevant evidence have signalled that the economic environment in Hong Kong has deteriorate
Hong Kong central bank cuts lenders’ cash reserves to support economy amid protests Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-15
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, central, reserves, capital, monetary, yue, ccyb, buffer, lenders, support, hong, cash, protests, banks, economic, economy, kong, cuts


Hong Kong central bank cuts lenders' cash reserves to support economy amid protests

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority is displayed outside Two International Finance Centre in Hong Kong on June 19, 2013.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has cut the amount of cash that banks must keep as reserves, releasing an extra HK$200-300 billion ($25.50-38.24 billion) into the broader economy which has been hit by months-long protests and the U.S.-China trade war.

The central bank late on Monday announced a reduction of the Countercyclical Capital Buffer (CCyB) ratio of banks to 2.0% from 2.5%, with immediate effect, particularly aimed at boosting credit to the struggling small and medium enterprises. It was the first cut in the CCyB ratio since it was introduced in 2015.

“Economic indicators and other relevant evidence have signalled that the economic environment in Hong Kong has deteriorated significantly since June 2019,” HKMA chief executive Eddie Yue said in the statement.

“Lowering the countercyclical capital buffer at this juncture will allow banks to be more supportive to the domestic economy and help mitigate the economic cycle,” Yue added.

Hong Kong, which has been rocked by four months of often huge and violent protests against what is seen as Beijing’s tightening grip on the Chinese-ruled city, is facing its first recession in a decade.

The economy shrank 0.4% in April-June from the previous quarter, revised government data showed on Friday, and conditions have sharply deteriorated since then.

The Asian financial center, which also has one of the world’s busiest ports, was already under intense pressure from the escalating U.S.-China trade war and China’s biggest economic slowdown in decades.

HKMA has recently denied rumors, circulating on social media platforms and messaging apps, which have raised concerns about the monetary and financial stability of Hong Kong.

“We have emphasised many times that Hong Kong’s banking system is robust and sound, with strong capital positions, ample liquidity and good asset quality,” Yue said in his blog on Monday. “It is well positioned to withstand market shocks.”

The CCyB was introduced in line with international standards in 2015, ensuring adequate capital buffer for banks which can be deployed during an economic downturn to boost credit growth.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-15
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, central, reserves, capital, monetary, yue, ccyb, buffer, lenders, support, hong, cash, protests, banks, economic, economy, kong, cuts


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LeBron James says Houston Rockets’ GM was not ‘educated’ on Hong Kong situation when he tweeted

NBA superstar LeBron James criticized the general manager of Houston Rockets for not being “educated on the situation” when he tweeted in support of the Hong Kong anti-government protests. But that criticism sparked backlash against James, with one U.S. lawmaker slamming the LA Lakers star for “putting profits over human rights.” Rockets GM Daryl Morey set off a spiral of events earlier this month after his tweet drew widespread anger in China. Tencent, which owns the digital streaming rights fo


NBA superstar LeBron James criticized the general manager of Houston Rockets for not being “educated on the situation” when he tweeted in support of the Hong Kong anti-government protests. But that criticism sparked backlash against James, with one U.S. lawmaker slamming the LA Lakers star for “putting profits over human rights.” Rockets GM Daryl Morey set off a spiral of events earlier this month after his tweet drew widespread anger in China. Tencent, which owns the digital streaming rights fo
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Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-15  Authors: arjun kharpal
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LeBron James says Houston Rockets' GM was not 'educated' on Hong Kong situation when he tweeted

LeBron James of Los Angeles Lakers (R) takes a shot while being guarded by Theo Pinson of the Brooklyn Nets (L) during their National Basketball Association (NBA) pre-season match at the Mercedes Benz Arena in Shanghai on October 10, 2019.

NBA superstar LeBron James criticized the general manager of Houston Rockets for not being “educated on the situation” when he tweeted in support of the Hong Kong anti-government protests.

But that criticism sparked backlash against James, with one U.S. lawmaker slamming the LA Lakers star for “putting profits over human rights.”

Rockets GM Daryl Morey set off a spiral of events earlier this month after his tweet drew widespread anger in China. Even though the post was swiftly deleted, sponsors cut ties with the National Basketball Association while the league came under fire for appearing to give in to censorship from Beijing.

“We all talk about this freedom of speech, yes, we all do have freedom of speech. But at times, there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you’re not thinking about others and you’re only thinking about yourself,” James told reporters ahead of a game against Golden State.

“I don’t want to get into a word or sentence feud with … with Daryl Morey. But I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand and he spoke.”

After making those remarks, James took to Twitter to clarify his statements saying that Morey had no “consideration for the consequences and ramifications of the tweet” and he could have “waited a week to send it.”

Last week, the Lakers played against the Brooklyn Nets in two exhibition games in China — but those games were not available for viewing in China as state-run television network CCTV suspended the current broadcast arrangements for the NBA’s preseason games in China. Tencent, which owns the digital streaming rights for NBA in China, also “temporarily” suspended the preseason broadcast arrangements.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver eventually came out to support Morey but players have been largely quiet on the issue.

The comments by James drew sharp criticism from some U.S. lawmakers. Senator Rick Scott, R-Fla. accused James of “putting profits over human rights.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., said the NBA star was “parroting communist propaganda.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-15  Authors: arjun kharpal
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, lebron, nba, youre, games, week, lakers, houston, situation, hong, james, kong, rockets, thinking, educated, morey, tweeted, preseason, china


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China’s Xi warns attempts to divide China will end in ‘shattered bones’

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China June 25, 2019. Chinese President Xi Jinping warned on Sunday that any attempt to divide China will be crushed, as Beijing faces political challenges in months-long protests in Hong Kong and U.S. criticism over its treatment of Muslim minority groups. “And any external forces backing such attempts dividing China will be deemed by the Chinese people as pipe-dreaming!” Xi, the firs


Chinese President Xi Jinping meets Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China June 25, 2019. Chinese President Xi Jinping warned on Sunday that any attempt to divide China will be crushed, as Beijing faces political challenges in months-long protests in Hong Kong and U.S. criticism over its treatment of Muslim minority groups. “And any external forces backing such attempts dividing China will be deemed by the Chinese people as pipe-dreaming!” Xi, the firs
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China's Xi warns attempts to divide China will end in 'shattered bones'

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China June 25, 2019.

Chinese President Xi Jinping warned on Sunday that any attempt to divide China will be crushed, as Beijing faces political challenges in months-long protests in Hong Kong and U.S. criticism over its treatment of Muslim minority groups.

“Anyone attempting to split China in any part of the country will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones,” he told Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli in a meeting on Sunday, according to China’s state broadcaster CCTV.

“And any external forces backing such attempts dividing China will be deemed by the Chinese people as pipe-dreaming!” he was quoted as saying.

Xi, the first Chinese president to visit Nepal in 22 years, arrived in Nepal on Saturday on a state visit. Both sides are expected to sign a deal expanding a railway link between the Himalayan nation and Tibet.

Nepal’s Oli told Xi that the country will oppose any “anti-China activities” on its soil, CCTV reported.

China, which is trying to de-escalate a protracted trade war with the United States, has seen its political authority tested by increasingly violent protests in Hong Kong against what is seen as Beijing’s tightening grip on the Chinese-ruled city.

Police in Hong Kong have used rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons against pro-democracy demonstrators in the former British colony, which has been plunged into its worst political crisis in decades.


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Blizzard reduces ban and gives back prize money to gamer it punished for backing Hong Kong protests

In a post-match interview on the Taiwanese stream of Blizzard Entertainment game “Hearthstone,” player Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai wore a gas mask and goggles and appeared to shout a slogan often associated with Hong Kong protesters: “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time.” Very shortly after, Blizzard Entertainment, a division of Activision Blizzard running the “Hearthstone” tournament, announced Blitzchung would be suspended for 12 months and be stripped of his prize money. Anti-government


In a post-match interview on the Taiwanese stream of Blizzard Entertainment game “Hearthstone,” player Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai wore a gas mask and goggles and appeared to shout a slogan often associated with Hong Kong protesters: “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time.” Very shortly after, Blizzard Entertainment, a division of Activision Blizzard running the “Hearthstone” tournament, announced Blitzchung would be suspended for 12 months and be stripped of his prize money. Anti-government
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Blizzard reduces ban and gives back prize money to gamer it punished for backing Hong Kong protests

Visitors playing the Game Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft at the Gamescom fair. Gamescom the Worlds largest Gaming Fair. Gamescom is a trade fair for video games held annually at the Koelnmesse in Cologne. It is organised by the BIU. (Photo by Maik Boenisch/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Activision Blizzard has insisted that its decision to suspend a gamer who showed support for the Hong Kong protesters during an official tournament broadcast was not influenced by the company’s relationships in China, as the gaming firm announced it would reduce the player’s ban.

In a post-match interview on the Taiwanese stream of Blizzard Entertainment game “Hearthstone,” player Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai wore a gas mask and goggles and appeared to shout a slogan often associated with Hong Kong protesters: “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time.”

Very shortly after, Blizzard Entertainment, a division of Activision Blizzard running the “Hearthstone” tournament, announced Blitzchung would be suspended for 12 months and be stripped of his prize money.

Anti-Blizzard sentiment spread across the internet with the front page of Reddit dominated by the topic on Wednesday and the hashtag “#Blizzardboycott” doing the rounds on Twitter.

But on Saturday, Blizzard announced it would reduce Blitzchung’s suspension to six months and give him the prize money back, admitting that it “reacted too quickly” in the first place.

Blizzard is one of the companies, along with Apple, that has been criticized for appearing to bend over backwards to China’s demands.

Anti-government protests have rocked Hong Kong for four months now. They first erupted over a now withdrawn extradition bill that would have allowed fugitives to be transferred to mainland China for trial, but are being seen as protests against Beijing’s growing influence in the semi-autonomous city.

Blizzard insisted that its relationships in China did not influence its decision to punish Blitzchung.

“The specific views expressed by blitzchung were NOT a factor in the decision we made. I want to be clear: our relationships in China had no influence on our decision,” J. Allen Brack, president of Blizzard Entertainment, said in a statement.

Brack said Blizzard has rules around its official broadcasts and that Blitzchung was in violation of those.

“We have these rules to keep the focus on the game and on the tournament to the benefit of a global audience, and that was the only consideration in the actions we took,” he said. “If this had been the opposing viewpoint delivered in the same divisive and deliberate way, we would have felt and acted the same.”

Brack also said that the official broadcasts need to be focused on the game:

Over the weekend, blitzchung used his segment to make a statement about the situation in Hong Kong—in violation of rules he acknowledged and understood, and this is why we took action. Every Voice Matters, and we strongly encourage everyone in our community to share their viewpoints in the many places available to express themselves. However, the official broadcast needs to be about the tournament and to be a place where all are welcome. In support of that, we want to keep the official channels focused on the game.

American organizations’ relationships in China are under intense scrutiny and several have come under fire for appearing to give in to Beijing’s censorship demands.

The NBA furor sparked the debate after Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets team, tweeted a message in Hong Kong, which was quickly deleted. The NBA first appeared to apologize for Morey’s remarks which was . But later, the league’s commissioner Adam Silver came out in support of Morey’s right to express his opinion. Silver’s remarks drew strong criticism from Chinese state media.

Meanwhile, Apple was in hot water with Beijing for allowing an app, which let Hong Kong protesters see the location of police, onto its App Store. Following , Apple .


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-12  Authors: arjun kharpal
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, relationships, prize, reduces, kong, blitzchung, money, official, china, gamer, blizzard, gives, tournament, protests, hong, support, punished, decision


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Cramer on Trump vs. China: ‘Hate him or like him, he has them where he wants them’

President Donald Trump has the upper hand in the China trade war because tariffs are hurting the Chinese economy way more than the U.S. economy, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Friday. Stocks opened sharply higher on Friday, with Trump casting a positive view on the China trade talks, which resumed in Washington Thursday. The “Mad Money” host said Friday, “The Hong Kong situation and loss of face there doesn’t help their cause. I think that when billionaires run for the hills, like they did in the NBA, b


President Donald Trump has the upper hand in the China trade war because tariffs are hurting the Chinese economy way more than the U.S. economy, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Friday. Stocks opened sharply higher on Friday, with Trump casting a positive view on the China trade talks, which resumed in Washington Thursday. The “Mad Money” host said Friday, “The Hong Kong situation and loss of face there doesn’t help their cause. I think that when billionaires run for the hills, like they did in the NBA, b
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Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-11  Authors: matthew j belvedere
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Cramer on Trump vs. China: 'Hate him or like him, he has them where he wants them'

President Donald Trump has the upper hand in the China trade war because tariffs are hurting the Chinese economy way more than the U.S. economy, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Friday.

“Hate him or like him, he has them where he wants them,” said Cramer, characterizing Trump and his hard line approach to try to get China to change what the U.S. sees as decades of unfair trade practices.

Stocks opened sharply higher on Friday, with Trump casting a positive view on the China trade talks, which resumed in Washington Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was soaring more than 300 points in early trading.

The president on Friday plans to meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He at the White House. On Thursday, he said that Day 1 of negotiations went “really well.”

The discussions, aimed at ending the two nations’ 15-month trade war, come days before an Oct. 15 deadline when the U.S. plans to hike tariff rates on some $250 billion of Chinese goods to 30% from 25%.

The “Mad Money” host said Friday, “The Hong Kong situation and loss of face there doesn’t help their cause. Can you imagine how desperate they are when they’re worried about NBA … talking about Hong Kong?”

Cramer was referring to the uproar in China and the fallout for the league over last week’s pro-Hong Kong protests tweet from the Houston Rockets’ general manager.

“It’s a crucial moment. I think that when billionaires run for the hills, like they did in the NBA, because they didn’t want to challenge China, it’s shameful,” Cramer said. “Maybe it’s shameful if companies aren’t willing to speak for free speech.”

The communist government in China is particularly sensitive about the months of anti-government demonstrations in Hong Kong. Beijing views the unrest in the Chinese territory as an affront to its authority. The U.S. has warned that strong intervention in Hong Kong by Beijing could hurt the prospects of cutting a trade deal.

“I always felt that there’s a moral equivalence that our mainstream puts between China and the United States. Hate him or like him, Trump is not morally equivalent” to Chinese President Xi Jinping.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-11  Authors: matthew j belvedere
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Apple removes police-tracking app used in Hong Kong protests from its app store

Apple on Wednesday removed an app that protesters in Hong Kong have used to track police movements from its app store, saying it violated rules because it was used to ambush police. The U.S. tech giant had come under fire from China over the app, with the Chinese Communist Party’s official newspaper calling the app “poisonous” and decrying what it said was Apple’s complicity in helping the Hong Kong protesters. Apple said in a statement that it had began an immediate investigation after “many co


Apple on Wednesday removed an app that protesters in Hong Kong have used to track police movements from its app store, saying it violated rules because it was used to ambush police. The U.S. tech giant had come under fire from China over the app, with the Chinese Communist Party’s official newspaper calling the app “poisonous” and decrying what it said was Apple’s complicity in helping the Hong Kong protesters. Apple said in a statement that it had began an immediate investigation after “many co
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Apple removes police-tracking app used in Hong Kong protests from its app store

Apple CEO Tim Cook delivers the keynote address during a special event on September 10, 2019 in the Steve Jobs Theater on Apple’s Cupertino, California campus.

Apple on Wednesday removed an app that protesters in Hong Kong have used to track police movements from its app store, saying it violated rules because it was used to ambush police.

The U.S. tech giant had come under fire from China over the app, with the Chinese Communist Party’s official newspaper calling the app “poisonous” and decrying what it said was Apple’s complicity in helping the Hong Kong protesters.

Apple rejected the crowdsourcing app, HKmap.live, earlier this month but then reversed course last week.

Apple said in a statement that it had began an immediate investigation after “many concerned customers in Hong Kong” contacted the company about the app and Apple found it had endangered law enforcement and residents.

“The app displays police locations and we have verified with the Hong Kong Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau that the app has been used to target and ambush police, threaten public safety, and criminals have used it to victimize residents in areas where they know there is no law enforcement,” the statement said.

Apple did not comment beyond its statement, and the app’s developer did not immediately have a comment on the removal.

Hong Kong police had no immediate comment.


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Hong Kong protests have ‘given a bounce to Tsai Ing-wen’ in Taiwan, says professor

Sam Yeh | AFP | Getty ImagesAhead of Taiwan’s presidential elections in January, President Tsai Ing-wen has seen a huge bump in voter support since the Hong Kong protests started more than four months ago. “The Hong Kong protests have had a tremendous impact on Taiwan politics and the upcoming election,” and “really given a bounce to Tsai Ing-wen” said Elizabeth Freund Larus, professor of political science and international affairs at the University of Mary Washington. Hong Kong, a former Britis


Sam Yeh | AFP | Getty ImagesAhead of Taiwan’s presidential elections in January, President Tsai Ing-wen has seen a huge bump in voter support since the Hong Kong protests started more than four months ago. “The Hong Kong protests have had a tremendous impact on Taiwan politics and the upcoming election,” and “really given a bounce to Tsai Ing-wen” said Elizabeth Freund Larus, professor of political science and international affairs at the University of Mary Washington. Hong Kong, a former Britis
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Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-10  Authors: grace shao, evelyn cheng
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Hong Kong protests have 'given a bounce to Tsai Ing-wen' in Taiwan, says professor

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen waves while registering as the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) 2020 presidential candidate at the party’s headquarter in Taipei on March 21, 2019. Sam Yeh | AFP | Getty Images

Ahead of Taiwan’s presidential elections in January, President Tsai Ing-wen has seen a huge bump in voter support since the Hong Kong protests started more than four months ago. “The Hong Kong protests have had a tremendous impact on Taiwan politics and the upcoming election,” and “really given a bounce to Tsai Ing-wen” said Elizabeth Freund Larus, professor of political science and international affairs at the University of Mary Washington. Her comments come as self-governed Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China, celebrates its national day on the anniversary of an agreement reached with the mainland’s Communist Party of China. That deal stated that the CPC would recognize Taiwan’s founding Kuomintang ruling party government as legitimate.

‘One country, two systems’

Yet, Beijing now views the island as a runaway province and has pushed for reunification. In his speech commemorating the 70th anniversary of communist China, President Xi Jinping said, “Forging ahead, we must remain committed to the strategy of peaceful reunification, and ‘one country, two systems.'” Tsai said Thursday that Hong Kong, hit by months-long anti-government protests, was “on the edge of disorder” due to the failure of a political arrangement guaranteeing certain freedoms, according to Reuters. Hong Kong, a former British colony returned to China as a semi-autonomous city in 1997. It now operates under the “one country, two systems” principle, in which Beijing grants Hong Kong citizens financial and legal independence from the mainland. “Taiwan is seeing the protests in Hong Kong, and sees that this is the nail in the coffin to ‘one country, two systems,'” said international relations professor Larus. Anti-government protests have rocked Hong Kong for over four months now. They first erupted over a now withdrawn extradition bill that would have allowed fugitives to be transferred to mainland China for trial.

Tsai’s likely re-election

In a Reuters account of her National Day speech, Tsai said China’s “one country, two systems” proposal for Taiwan would “pose a serious challenge to regional stability and peace.” “The overwhelming consensus among Taiwan’s 23 million people is our rejection of ‘one country, two systems,’ regardless of party affiliation or political position,” she said, according to Reuters. To Beijing’s dismay, Larus said that Tsai has a “good chance” of being re-elected. “Cross-strait relations have been really chilly since Tsai Ing-wen became president because she has not accepted the 1992 consensus, which the basis is the ‘One China’ principle,” she said. Mainland China is wary of any moves by Taiwan to more clearly establish independence. Beijing has threatened to cut ties with countries that reject its “One China” policy by recognizing Taiwan as a sovereign state. Tsai, the leader of the Democratic Progressive Party, has repeatedly denied seeking formal independence despite her party’s goals of “encouraging democracy” and “protecting sovereignty.” Beijing will more likely put more economic and diplomatic pressure and constraints on Taiwan going forward but will not deploy any military forces, Larus told CNBC.

Watch: What is the ‘One China Policy’?


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-10  Authors: grace shao, evelyn cheng
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Sports agents warn NBA players to avoid China talk as athletes, executives walk ‘fine line’

Kevin Frayer | Getty ImagesNBA players have been unusually quiet on China since the nation started severing ties with the league. “I think it’s a fine line, and when you’re walking that fine line, it’s best to not even play around with it.” NBA players and officials have been walking that line since Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted support for anti-government protesters in Hong Kong on Friday, according to interviews with players, league officials and sports agents. Stand with


Kevin Frayer | Getty ImagesNBA players have been unusually quiet on China since the nation started severing ties with the league. “I think it’s a fine line, and when you’re walking that fine line, it’s best to not even play around with it.” NBA players and officials have been walking that line since Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted support for anti-government protesters in Hong Kong on Friday, according to interviews with players, league officials and sports agents. Stand with
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Sports agents warn NBA players to avoid China talk as athletes, executives walk 'fine line'

A Chinese flag is placed on merchandise in the NBA flagship retail store on October 9, 2019 in Beijing, China. Kevin Frayer | Getty Images

NBA players have been unusually quiet on China since the nation started severing ties with the league. That may stem from the private advice they are getting from sports agents to tread lightly — or avoid discussing it entirely — if they are asked about the uproar over Hong Kong. “What I told my guys is, ‘Don’t even talk about it,'” said one sports agent, who asked not to be identified because of the politically sensitive nature of the issue. “I think it’s a fine line, and when you’re walking that fine line, it’s best to not even play around with it.” NBA players and officials have been walking that line since Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted support for anti-government protesters in Hong Kong on Friday, according to interviews with players, league officials and sports agents. The tweet, “Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong,” has since been deleted. But it’s touched off a political and economic firestorm between the NBA and its partners in China, the world’s second-largest economy.

Billions at stake

The league stands to lose billions of dollars in revenue, despite mea culpas from Morey and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. Silver apologized for upsetting fans in China but not for Morey’s right to say what he wanted. The NBA has canceled several events scheduled for Shanghai this week, and state-run television station CCTV has pulled the league’s games from its airwaves, including Thursday’s game there between the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets. All of the NBA’s partners in China, including tech giant Tencent and Luckin Coffee, have suspended their relationships with the league. The controversy could hit closer to home for professional basketball players, many of whom spend part of their summers in China promoting lucrative endorsements there. Although the league hasn’t, and says it won’t, attempt to censor team executives or players from speaking their minds, the swift and angry response from China appears to have everyone on edge.

Workers remove a banner advertising Thursday’s NBA China Games between the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers from a building in Shanghai, October 9, 2019. Aly Song | Reuters

Growing tension

The tension was clear when Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown was asked about China following an exhibition game against the Guangzhou Loong Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association on Tuesday night. Brown appeared not to hear the question — or at least pretended not to — when asked if this game felt different. “One more question, sorry,” Brown said after finishing a sip of water as he sat at the press conference table inside the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The Sixers won 144-86, and Brown shook his head abruptly when pressed a second time about whether the game felt any different, given all the commotion over China. “No,” Brown said.

Consequences

One Western Conference executive, who asked not to be identified because of the politically sensitive nature of the issue, said he also supported Morey’s right to free speech. But he didn’t think it was Morey’s place to take a public stand on the matter, saying the Houston general manager should have been aware of the consequences. “There is a difference between freedom to speak and license to speak,” the executive said in an interview. “Just because you can say it doesn’t mean you should say it.” Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry, who spends part of his summers in China promoting Under Armour gear, avoided taking a stand on China when asked about it after practice at the Biofreeze Performance Center in San Francisco on Wednesday. “This one is a league-wide situation and our presence in China is just a different conversation,” he told reporters. He said the situation was different when Warriors head coach Steve Kerr talks publicly about gun violence or gender equality because the latter makes a big impact for “people who can’t speak for themselves within our communities” in the U.S. Kerr is an outspoken gun-control advocate, donning a “Vote For Our Lives” T-shirt at the NBA Finals in June after a gunman killed 12 people and wounded four in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Weight and gravity

“This situation has a huge weight and gravity to it, and there’s going to be some things that need to be sorted out,” Curry said of the anti-government protests in Hong Kong over a now-withdrawn bill that would have enabled extradition of criminal suspects to mainland China. “But I just don’t know enough about Chinese history and how that’s influenced modern society today and that interaction to speak on it.”

Steph Curry: “This situation, there’s a huge weight and gravity to it. There’s going to need to be some things to be sorted out. But I just don’t know enough about Chinese history and how that’s influenced modern society…This is not going away. So we’ll come back to it.” pic.twitter.com/6h6ZGWHQtq — Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 9, 2019

The trips to China for players like Curry are sometimes part of multimillion-dollar endorsement deals, selling shoes, jerseys and other merchandise to what was a growing Chinese market before Morey’s tweet. Houston Rockets guards James Harden and Russell Westbrook similarly ignored a question on China at a press conference during the NBA’s Japan games in Tokyo earlier this week. A team representative can be heard saying “we’re taking basketball questions only” before the two players stared silently at the room.

Journalist gets quickly shut down when she asked James Harden, Russell Westbrook if they would refrain from speaking out on politics/social justice after China debacle… pic.twitter.com/VkXSWo0N0s — gifdsports (@gifdsports) October 10, 2019

Fans ejected

The NBA-China rift escalated off the court in Philadelphia on Tuesday night when a fan was ejected for causing a stir by holding a “Free Hong Kong” sign during the game. Arena security removed Sam Wachs and his wife after he ignored three warnings from Loong Lions team security, the arena said in a statement. Before that incident, the NBA issued a statement from Silver saying the league will continue to support “values of equality, respect, and freedom of expression” despite the criticism the league is facing domestically and abroad. “It is inevitable that people around the world — including from America and China — will have different viewpoints over different issues,” Silver said in the statement. “It is not the role of the NBA to adjudicate those differences.

Progressive leader


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-10  Authors: jabari young
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, nba, executives, avoid, league, different, china, walk, chinese, kong, asked, game, talk, hong, line, warn, players, fine


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Apple deferred to the Chinese government long before the Hong Kong protests

Apple removed a Hong Kong mapping app from its App Store on Thursday after Chinese state media said it endangered law enforcement officers in the ongoing Hong Kong pro-democracy protests. Apple also said that it had been in contact with the Hong Kong Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau. (Google also removed Hong Kong protest apps from its Android app store this week.) Apple added that Chinese authorities told it that the Quartz app didn’t comply with local laws. Apple reported $51 billion


Apple removed a Hong Kong mapping app from its App Store on Thursday after Chinese state media said it endangered law enforcement officers in the ongoing Hong Kong pro-democracy protests. Apple also said that it had been in contact with the Hong Kong Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau. (Google also removed Hong Kong protest apps from its Android app store this week.) Apple added that Chinese authorities told it that the Quartz app didn’t comply with local laws. Apple reported $51 billion
Apple deferred to the Chinese government long before the Hong Kong protests Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-10  Authors: kif leswing
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, app, kong, long, protests, chinese, store, removed, hong, quartz, pressure, prodemocracy, apple, deferred, china


Apple deferred to the Chinese government long before the Hong Kong protests

Apple removed a Hong Kong mapping app from its App Store on Thursday after Chinese state media said it endangered law enforcement officers in the ongoing Hong Kong pro-democracy protests.

Apple also removed a news outlet’s app, Quartz, from the App Store in China on Wednesday, citing content that is “illegal in China,” a Quartz spokesperson said, adding that Quartz has been covering pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong extensively.

Apple said that it removed the mapping app because it “has been used in ways that endanger law enforcement and residents in Hong Kong” and has been “used to target and ambush police.” Apple also said that it had been in contact with the Hong Kong Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau. (Google also removed Hong Kong protest apps from its Android app store this week.) Apple added that Chinese authorities told it that the Quartz app didn’t comply with local laws.

Because Apple controls its App Store, which is the only way for most people to install apps on iPhones, it can effectively decide which software is acceptable for iPhone users, making it an access point for governments which want to remove content from their countries.

But while attention is now focused on how China’s government puts pressure on international businesses, Apple has had to carefully tread around Beijing’s pressure points for years.

Apple finds itself in the middle of controversy as China and the Communist Party are increasingly leaning on international companies to quell discussion or distribution of content that supports pro-Democracy protests in Hong Kong.

For example, organizations and businesses in China have been cutting relationships and putting pressure on the NBA after Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted support for pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong.

Apple has a closer relationship with China than other tech companies, like Facebook and Google, which have significant products that are banned from the country.

Apple does nearly all of its production in China, and needs to protect the massive supply chain that produces over 200 million iPhones per year.

Beyond that, mainland China is also a key market for Apple. Apple reported $51 billion in revenue in 2018 from “Greater China,” which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan (in line with the Communist Party’s preferred geography). That’s Apple’s third-biggest region, after the Americas and Europe. Apple’s total revenue for 2018 was $265.6 billion.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-10  Authors: kif leswing
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, app, kong, long, protests, chinese, store, removed, hong, quartz, pressure, prodemocracy, apple, deferred, china


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76ers fan supporting Hong Kong ejected from preseason game against Chinese squad in Philadelphia

A fan was reportedly ejected from a Philadelphia 76ers preseason game on Tuesday after holding signs and shouting support for Hong Kong during the game against the Guangzhou Loong Lions, a squad from China. Sam Wachs said he and his wife were silently holding signs that said “Free Hong Kong” during the game at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. “Got kicked out of the Philadelphia 76ers game against Guangzhou tonight for bringing these / chanting my support of Hong Kong,” Wachs posted on Fac


A fan was reportedly ejected from a Philadelphia 76ers preseason game on Tuesday after holding signs and shouting support for Hong Kong during the game against the Guangzhou Loong Lions, a squad from China. Sam Wachs said he and his wife were silently holding signs that said “Free Hong Kong” during the game at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. “Got kicked out of the Philadelphia 76ers game against Guangzhou tonight for bringing these / chanting my support of Hong Kong,” Wachs posted on Fac
76ers fan supporting Hong Kong ejected from preseason game against Chinese squad in Philadelphia Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-09  Authors: jabari young
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, security, fan, hong, fargo, 76ers, preseason, philadelphia, game, ejected, kong, nba, center, signs, squad, chinese, supporting, wachs, wells


76ers fan supporting Hong Kong ejected from preseason game against Chinese squad in Philadelphia

Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons (25) drives to the net as Guangzhou Loong-Lions’ Yongpeng Zhang defends and Philadelphia 76ers’ Tobias Harris, right, watches during the first half of an NBA exhibition basketball game Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019, in Philadelphia.

A fan was reportedly ejected from a Philadelphia 76ers preseason game on Tuesday after holding signs and shouting support for Hong Kong during the game against the Guangzhou Loong Lions, a squad from China.

Sam Wachs said he and his wife were silently holding signs that said “Free Hong Kong” during the game at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

“I was being heckled by fans of the visiting Guangzhou team who swore at me and repeated Chinese government disinformation,” Wachs said in response to a question from CNBC on his Facebook page.

The signs were confiscated by security at the stadium and Wachs and his wife were kicked out, he said.

“Got kicked out of the Philadelphia 76ers game against Guangzhou tonight for bringing these / chanting my support of Hong Kong,” Wachs posted on Facebook on Tuesday night. “The NBA is pretty cowardly when it comes to pressure from the Chinese government.”

The 76ers and Wells Fargo Center released statements saying Wachs was removed after disrupting the game for other fans and ignoring several warnings.

Here’s the statement from the Wells Fargo Center:

During the second quarter of last night’s 76ers game, Wells Fargo Center security responded to a situation that was disrupting the live event experience for our guests. After three separate warnings, the two individuals were escorted out of the arena without incident. The security team employed respectful and standard operating procedures.

Here’s the statement from the 76ers:

The Wells Fargo Center’s event staff is responsible for the security and comfort of all guests at arena events, including 76ers games. At last evening’s game, following multiple complaints from guests and verbal confrontations with others in attendance, two individuals were warned by Wells Fargo Center staff about their continuing disruption of the fan experience. Ultimately, the decision was made by Wells Fargo Center personnel to remove the guests from the premises, which was accomplished without incident.

Wachs said he wasn’t intentionally confrontational.

“When I was ejected, I’d say I was disruptive in the sense that I was standing in my seat. But I did not go about this protest in a confrontational way. I only stood and began to chant after signs were taken away,” he told CNBC.

The NBA is facing intense criticism in mainland China since Houston Rockets’ general manager Daryl Morey backed the anti-government protests in a now-deleted tweet over the weekend that said, “Fight for Freedom. Stand for Hong Kong.”

The tweet was quickly deleted and Morey apologized, but his comments drew backlash in China.

The NBA released a statement about Morey on Sunday that was translated into Chinese for the league’s verified account on Chinese social media platform Weibo. A CNBC translation of the post found differences between the English and Chinese version, which sparked criticism in the U.S. for its decidedly more apologetic tone.

The league’s commissioner, Adam Silver, apologized for offending the league’s Chinese fans, but he stood by Morey’s right to express his opinions, saying the league would “protect its employees’ freedom of speech.”

By Wednesday, nearly all of the NBA’s Chinese partners had publicly announced that they were ending or suspending their relationships with the league.

Earlier this week, Chinese tech giant Tencent, Luckin Coffee and Vivo announced the suspension of their relationships with the NBA.

— CNBC’s Eunice Yoon, Amelia Lucas, and Lilian Wu contributed to this report.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-09  Authors: jabari young
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, security, fan, hong, fargo, 76ers, preseason, philadelphia, game, ejected, kong, nba, center, signs, squad, chinese, supporting, wachs, wells


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