Chinese netizen uses Butterfly Effect to show how series of unrelated events led to NBA uproar

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/10/9 17:38:40

Daryl Morey. Photo: VCG

A Chinese netizen has posted an example of the Butterfly Effect on Sina Weibo, in which a murder in the island of Taiwan has fluttered through time and led to the cancellation of NBA exhibition games in the Chinese mainland.

The netizen's hypothesis, explaining a trail of unfortunate and seemingly unrelated events, was the most searched item on Sina Weibo, China's Twitter-like social media platform on Tuesday, with many foreign netizens joining the discussion on platforms such as Twitter and Reddit.

It all starts in February 2018 with a man from Hong Kong being accused of murdering his pregnant girlfriend in Taiwan and fleeing back to Hong Kong. 

Then the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region decided in June to amend an extradition bill that would allow it to send the accused murderer back to Taiwan. 

The amendment would have also established an extradition process for accused criminals wanted in the Chinese mainland. The amendment then triggers a series of protests in Hong Kong that have often led to riots that have resulted in injuries, arrests and great economic losses.

Zoom ahead in time to Saturday when Daryl Morey, general manager of Houston Rockets, re-tweeted a message expressing solidarity with the Hong Kong protesters. Although the tweet has been deleted, it was seen as inflammatory and sparked a stormy criticism in the Chinese mainland. 

Chinese sportswear brand Anita has suspended negotiations with the NBA, saying Chinese basketball fans were dissatisfied with Morey's "erroneous" remarks.

China Central Television (CCTV) and Chinese live streaming platform Tencent said on Tuesday that they will immediately suspend broadcasts of NBA pre-season games in China. 

"This is a good example of the Butterfly Effect," a Twitter user wrote.


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