It’s not just the NBA and Blizzard.

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via mashable:

While the spotlight has been shining brightly on the NBA for its handling of a critical tweetabout China’s response to pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, the NBA isn’t alone.

Major global companies have been bowing to both direct and indirect pressure from China’s political leaders to control how the economic powerhouse of a country is portrayed for some time.

To put all the cowering in perspective, one Redditor posted a list recognizing censorship orders and complaints against some of the most prominent companies that have yielded to such requests both recently and as far back as 2017. The list was later copied and shared widely on Twitter, making its way into a Twitter moment. 

We’ve pulled some of the biggest brands from the list and added more context here:

  • Activision Blizzard: The gaming company suspended a professional player of one of their card games following the player’s stated support for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong protests began in June in response to an extradition bill that would have subjected Hong Kong residents to China’s rule of law; in effect jeopardizing the civil and political rights afforded to the city’s residents as a legacy of its colonial era.
  • American AirlinesChanged descriptions listing Taiwan as a country following pushback from China’s Civil Aviation Authority. The Chinese government in Beijing claims sovereignty over Taiwan, which is self-governed.
  • AppleRemoved an app from the Apple Store that aided Hong Kong protesters in tracking police and removed the Taiwanese flag emoji from Hong Kong iPhones.
  • AudiUsed a China map at a press conference that excluded Taiwan, South Tibet, and parts of the Xinjiang region; a company statement, then apologized for their “incorrect geographical map.”
  • Cathay PacificChina ordered Cathay Pacific, a Hong Kong-based airline, to suspend staff who support and participate in the pro-democracy Hong Kong protests.
  • CoachReferenced Hong Kong and Taiwan as individual countries on a shirt, then later called the design a “serious inaccuracy.”
  • Disney/ESPNAn internal memo distributed to ESPN employees prohibits reference to Chinese politics when alluding to a supportive tweet for Hong Kong protesters from the manager of the Houston Rockets.
  • Delta AirlinesListed Tibet and Taiwan as countries on its website, and was ordered by China’s Civil Aviation Administration to make an apology. Delta called their listing a “grave mistake” with no “political intention.”
  • Gap: After selling a shirt that featured an “incorrect” map of China by not featuring Taiwan or South Tibet and receiving negative comments on Weibo, Gap apologized and removed the shirt from its stores.
  • Marriott InternationalIn a customer questionnaire, Marriott listed Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau as separate countries; Marriott was ordered by the Shanghai’s Cyberspace Administration to take down its website for a week.
  • MedtronicListed “Republic of China (Taiwan)” on its website, then changed it and issued an apology following pressure from Chinese authorities.
  • Mercedes-BenzPosted an Instagram photo accompanied by a quote from the Dalai Lama, then deleted the post, and offered a public apology to the Chinese people.
  • MujiEliminated maps in their store catalogues deemed “incorrect” by China’s National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation.
  • NBAThe General Manager of the Houston Rockets, Daryl Morey, tweeted — then deleted — support for Hong Kong protesters; Chinese companies revoked sponsorship and the issue sparked controversy within the NBA.
  • NikeMerchandise for the Houston Rockets was removed from Nike stores in large cities in China following Morey’s tweet.
  • Ray-BanChanged website location listings from “Taiwan” to “China Taiwan,” Unlike other cases, it is unclear whether or not this decision followed pressure from China.
  • SwarovskiListed Hong Kong as a country on its website then apologized on their Facebook page for “misleading communication on China’s National Sovereignty.”
  • Tiffany & CoTweeted then deleted an ad campaign with a model covering her eye, a move that appeared similar to gestures made by Hong Kong pro-democracy activists. The company dubbed the image “was in no way intended to be a political statement of any kind.”
  • Tik TokThe platform, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, told moderators to censor videos featuring references to Tiananmen Square and Tibetan independence, as well as references to the banned religious group Falun Gong. These requests became public following the release of leaked documents from Tik Tok’s moderation guidelines.
  • Vans: Eliminated Hong Kong protesters’ entries in their annual Vans Custom Culture competition. In a statement, Vans said: “As a brand that is open to everyone, we have never taken a political position and therefore review designs to ensure they are in line with our company’s long-held values of respect and tolerance, as well as with our clearly communicated guidelines for this competition.”
  • VersaceDescribed Hong Kong as a country on a shirt that went viral. The fashion brand then tweeted an apology from Chief Creative Officer Donatella Versace apologizing for the shirt.
  • Viacom / Paramount PicturesTrailers for “Top Gun: Maverick” censored the Taiwan flag in a jacket shown in the trailer, worn by Tom Cruise.
  • ZaraListed Taiwan on a country list on their website; received an order from Shanghai’s Cyberspace Administration to publish an apology.




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