China resumes streaming NBA games after fallout over Hong Kong tweet

China resumes streaming NBA games after fallout over Hong Kong tweet
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China has resumed its online broadcasts of NBA preseason games after a flare-up with the league last week.

Chinese tech company Tencent streamed a game in Toronto between the Raptors and the Chicago Bulls, as well as a game in Minneapolis between the Timberwolves and the Israeli Maccabi Haifa, CNN reports.

Tencent referred CNN to a statement last week saying the firm would suspend streaming the “China games” when asked about its resumption of broadcasts. Tencent has the exclusive rights to stream NBA games in China, CNN notes.

The move comes after China said last week that it would not broadcast two NBA games in the country in response to a controversial tweet from Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey that supported pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

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The NBA faced fierce backlash over its response to Morey’s tweet, while bipartisan lawmakers criticized the NBA for not standing up for its employees’ rights to free speech.

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew YangAndrew YangIt's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Hillicon Valley: Facebook permanently shifting thousands of jobs to remote work | Congressional action on driverless cars hits speed bump during pandemic | Republicans grill TikTok over data privacy concerns The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Mnuchin sees 'strong likelihood' of another relief package; Warner says some businesses 'may not come back' at The Hill's Advancing America's Economy summit MORE called it “ridiculous” for the Chinese government to block the broadcasts, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezThe Hill's Campaign Report: GOP beset by convention drama Ocasio-Cortez challenger drops out of GOP primary Ocasio-Cortez posts experience getting antibody tested for COVID-19 MORE (D-N.Y.) and seven other lawmakers sent a letter to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver demanding that the league scale back its operations in China in response to the controversy.

Athletes have also weighed into the conflict, with Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James saying Monday that he thinks Morey “wasn’t educated on the situation at hand” when he sent the tweet.