Even by China’s heavily nationalistic standards, the reaction to a tweet this week has been extreme.
Basketball authorities and sponsors cutting ties.
State TV cancelling broadcasts.
A ‘meet the fans’ night with visiting NBA stars scuttled at short notice, much to the disappointment of fans.
Even a young social media user being forced by his employer to write a public apology letter for a post about a cartoon called the Rocket Squad.
The uproar over a tweet supporting the Hong Kong protestors from Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is the sharpest sign yet that in China’s ‘New Era’ — as President Xi Jinping calls it — foreigners are expected to submit to its censorship rules if they want to do business.
In recent years, grovelling apologies have become the norm.