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Smartphone maker Vivo says to suspend all cooperation with NBA

BEIJING: Chinese smartphone maker Vivo said on Tuesday it will suspend all cooperation with the National Basketball Association (NBA), joining a series of Chinese firms cutting ties with the league following a tweet by a Houston Rockets executive supporting Hong Kong’s protesters.

Vivo, in a statement published on social media platform Weibo, said it is strongly dissatisfied with Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey’s comments on Hong Kong and the NBA’s stance on the matter.

Vivo was a key sponsor for the upcoming exhibition games to be played in Shanghai and Shenzhen later this week by the Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets.

Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey on Sunday, however, tried to defuse the rapidly growing fallout over his deleted tweet that showed support for Hong Kong anti-government protesters, saying he didn’t intend to offend any of the team’s Chinese fans or sponsors.

A short time after Morey posted that statement, the NBA said it was “regrettable” that the deleted tweet offended many in China. It followed several companies in China, including some of the NBA’s major business partners there, lashing out over Morey’s original tweet.

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