NBA Stands Firm on Continued Business with China

In the next 20 years, if there is a war between the United States and China, NBA-China relations will be on the top of the list of factors that contributed to the conflict. The NBA’s dealings in China are well-documented and have been lucrative. The complexity that comes with doing business with companies overseen by the PRC has been highlighted, and Congress has also raised concerns about problematic apparel companies and athletes endorsed by them.

Commissioner Adam Silver has responded to a letter from the Congressional-Executive Commission on China about these issues, and the letter raises important questions about doing business in China. The letter also focuses on the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in China, which the US has categorized as genocide.

The NBA is deeply rooted in China, and its players, such as Kyrie Irving, have also engaged in business deals with Chinese companies. The letter specifically targeted a company called ANTA, which has deals with several NBA players and is valued at $30 billion. Given the NBA’s significant partnership and revenue from China, it is likely that the league too has skeletons in its closet.

The current NBA leadership is facing pressure to address these issues, but like many other industries, it has been suggested that the NBA may not be willing to sever business ties with problematic partners in order to maintain its revenue stream. However, it has been recommended that the NBA provide its players with more guidance when dealing with international businesses, as it has expertise in navigating global expansion while avoiding association with unsavory partners.