Credit to the WTA for Pulling Tournaments Out of China


CLAY: Another bit of bravery that I wanted to hit, Buck — and this news just came down — is the WTA, the Women’s Tennis Association, has pulled all of their events from China over this women’s tennis player in China who accused a prominent Communist Party official of sexual assault. They then basically scrubbed her from all existence in China.

This is an incredibly brave and strong stand, particularly with the Winter Olympics scheduled for Beijing in a couple of months. The WTA has done what the NBA was unwilling to do, and they have pulled all of their events out of China over the Communist Party’s decision to basically hide, disappear this woman who had accused a prominent Communist Party official of sexual assault. So both of those stories have come down in the last little bit. I want to make sure that we mention both.

BUCK: It’s momentous, because you really don’t see a lot of companies… In fact, what you see is in a very different direction, Google and some of the tech giants —

CLAY: No doubt. Apple.

BUCK: — they’ll refuse to say work with the U.S. military on artificial intelligence or defense contracts that have to do with defending America, but then they’ll bow down and do whatever they have to do to get access to China. We see the opposite happening on a regular basis of what we’d like to see which is people standing up to China. They’ll criticize American policy and American companies will have a problem with what we do, but very rarely do you see anyone who’s willing to risk the bottom line here. So credit to the WTA.

CLAY: Amen.

BUCK: Maybe other organizations, companies, multinationals will say, “It is time to hold China to account on this stuff,” because the same way that the China throws its weight around and going after places based on their bottom line, they also can be pushed and there are pressures that can be brought to bear for the Chinese Communist Party. Yeah, it’s not gonna be a flourishing Jeffersonian democracy tomorrow, but it could be a better place than it is.

CLAY: And did you see what Disney did on the opposite side? They pulled a Simpsons episode out of Hong Kong that referenced Tiananmen Square. So the Simpsons had a we-go-to-China-and-visit episode, and they had referenced the fact that that had been scrubbed from everywhere in China. Disney, on their new Disney+ service, does not allow you to watch that episode in Hong Kong, which is the exact opposite of what the WTA is doing, being willing to stand up and speak out, speak truth to power.


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