Alibaba, a company co-founded by Joe Tsai — an adamant advocate of China’s communist regime and the owner of the Nets and Liberty — financially supported the Chinese government’s human rights violations and “cultural genocide” of its Muslim population, according to a report from ESPN.
Tsai’s Alibaba (effectively Amazon in Asia) funded technology used by China to track its citizens, which was “used widely” in the region where over one million Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities were forced into barbed-wire camps for “re-education,” the report said.
Alibaba, where Tsai served as executive vice chairman, invested heavily in two government-backed artificial intelligence companies — Megvii and SenseTime — which developed facial recognition used for population surveillance and is “at the core” of China’s controlling of Uyghur Muslims, according to ESPN.
China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims has been characterized by the U.S. as “cultural genocide.” China has forcibly sterilized women in the Muslim community and imprisoned “hundreds of thousands” while destroying mosques and banning religious activities, according to the BBC...
China has claimed its “re-education” camps are meant to combat terrorism and separatism.
Alibaba controls 29.4% of Megvii and 7% of SenseTime, according to records obtained by ESPN. Both companies were blacklisted by the U.S. government and labeled “contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests.”...
Tsai, a 58-year-old Taiwanese billionaire and Yale graduate, became the NBA’s unofficial spokesman for China’s government after former Rockets executive Daryl Morey set off a storm in 2019 by tweeting support for Hong Kong’s continued independence.
As the threat of China cutting off its businesses with the NBA loomed, Tsai condemned Morey in a lengthy social media post while wrongly calling the Hong Kong protesters a “separatist movement.”
The Nets then refunded Morey’s purchased ticket to see his team play at Barclays Center, according to ESPN. Morey reportedly viewed it as being “uninvited.” At least one NBA owner told Morey that Tsai pushed for his dismissal to appease China, the report added.
The first reaction from star LeBron James was to criticize Morey and the tweet, leaving the impression that money trumped the the human rights issues. The NBA released a statement calling it “regrettable” that Morey offended people in China...
Morey, who apologized for his tweet, ultimately left the Rockets and joined the 76ers as team president.
Tsai declined to speak for the ESPN story...
More recently, former Knicks center Enes Kanter Freedom alleged he was blackballed by the NBA for calling out China’s human rights violations.
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