Factbox: NBA taking flak in China, a valuable market with 500 million fans

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(Reuters) – The National Basketball Association (NBA) came under fire on Monday for its response to a tweet by a Houston Rockets official supporting protests calling for democracy in the Chinese-ruled city of Hong Kong.

Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey apologized on Monday for his tweet, which he quickly deleted over the weekend, but his support for the demonstrations in the Chinese-ruled city angered China’s government and others in the world’s No. 2 economy.

In a statement, the NBA said it recognized that the views expressed by Morey had “deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable.” A Chinese-language version issued by the league appeared to go further, saying the NBA was “extremely disappointed” in Morey’s “inappropriate remarks.”

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