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Opinion
Adam Minter

NBA Isn't the Only Sports League China Is Trying to Muzzle

Beijing is betting it can intimidate sporting organizations with Chinese business ambitions to shut down criticism altogether — maybe even outside the country.

There’s a new rulebook.

There’s a new rulebook.

Photographer: Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images

It's a cardinal rule of doing business in China: Don't criticize the regime. For decades, the rule has been tacit. Late last month, the Chinese authorities decided to make it explicit for a particularly sensitive sector.

At the end of a long-awaited revision to the country's law on sports, the authorities reserved the right to strike back at any country, region or organization involved in global sports that's perceived as insulting China's dignity and interests.