Tags: corporate america | nba | china

Corporate America's Faustian Bargain With China

Corporate America's Faustian Bargain With China
Head coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors stands on the side of the court during their game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Chase Center on October 5, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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Friday, 11 October 2019 04:34 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Fans accused NBA superstar power-forward Kevin Durant, when leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder in July 2016 to join the Golden State Warriors, of being disloyal. He rejoined thusly:

"Ain't no such thing [as loyalty]. You see disloyalty in different ways, but that's one of the most underrated parts of the game. We scream loyalty, but we don't expect it from the people writing the checks, because they're writing the checks. [People say] 'You should be fine with it because you're getting paid.' I liked it better when I was naive about the NBA business, how f***ed up it is. That was better for me that way. You put money and business into something that's pure, it's going to f*** it up."

Durant, who left the Warriors in July of this year to join the Brooklyn Nets, may not have realized the profundity of his statement.

Corporate America, epitomized by the National Basketball Association (NBA), in a Faustian bargain, has prostrated itself to China and, to a shocking degree, turned its back on American customers and ideals.

Like all Faustian bargains, this one, too, will backfire.

How did China become so big and powerful over the last decade? By stealing intellectual property from American companies — those doing business in China and those not doing business in China.

By setting up Confucius Institutes at American universities, China allegedly has been able to steal university research, spy on U.S. companies and steal their technologies, and limit free speech in said universities.

When American companies locate offices and factories in China, they must partner and share technology secrets with Chinese companies, which then transmit those secrets to China’s communist government.

Were it not for President Trump calling out these transgressions and taking a hard line in trade negotiations to end them, China would blithely continue this theft.

In addition, China is known as one of the biggest violators of human rights. According to Human Rights Watch, China’s government:

  • Engages in arbitrary imprisonment of its citizens
  • Controls the internet, mass media, and academia
  • Persecutes religious communities
  • Prevents dissent by collecting photos, DNA, and voice samples to administer a nationwide “social-credit system.”

Despite all this, American companies are under China’s spell — and thumb.

Last week, the general manager of the Houston Rockets, Daryl Morey, tweeted support for the Hong Kong protestors: “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.”

All Hell broke loose.

China immediately boycotted the Houston Rockets, and Morey had to delete his pro-freedom tweet. James Harden, point-guard on the Rockets team, apologized to China: “We apologize. We love China.”

Charles Barkley, former NBA legend, called the NBA’s detractors idiots and jacka**es, and opined: "The NBA makes billions of dollars in China, and that goes to the owners and the players. So, it's a business decision, and I totally understand it."

When asked about China’s reaction to Morey, Steve Kerr, leftist head-coach of the Golden State Warriors and frequent critic of his home country, attacked America and defended oppressive China:

“Nor has our record of human-rights abuses come up, either. Things that our country needs to look at and resolve. That hasn’t come up, either. None of us are perfect. We all have different issues we have to get to. … But, people in China didn’t ask me about, you know, people owning AR-15s and mowing each other down in a mall. I wasn’t asked that question.”

Jason Whitlock, host of “Speak for Yourself” on FS1, explained to Tucker Carlson of Fox News that the NBA is beholden to Nike and Adidas, which make billions of dollars selling sneakers in China. Consequently, China, a communist country, is inexcusably influencing American culture.

Without a doubt, the NBA has exposed its disloyalty to America, American fans, and American ideals about freedom. Instead, its lust for money from communist China is unbounded.

There are countless other examples of corporate kowtowing to China.

Here’s one: Last year, Marriott fired a low-level social-media employee for “liking” a tweet referring to Tibet as a country, instead of a part of China. That tweet offended the Chinese government.

Loyalty is a key component of a brand, which is the emotional connection between vendor and customer. Americans are finally discovering the validity of Kevin Durant’s statement.

Because the NFL tolerated Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling in 2016, thereby turning off fans, stadiums are still experiencing seas of empty seats.

The NBA, like the NFL, soon will discover that loyalty is a two-way street.

Marc Rudov is a branding advisor to CEOs, speaker, media commentator, and author of "Brand Is Destiny: The Ultimate Bottom Line" and "Be Unique or Be Ignored: The CEO’s Guide to Branding." Find him at MarcRudov.com. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Corporate America, epitomized by the National Basketball Association (NBA), in a Faustian bargain, has prostrated itself to China and, to a shocking degree, turned its back on American customers and ideals.
corporate america, nba, china
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2019-34-11
Friday, 11 October 2019 04:34 PM
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