Shanghai cancels NBA event. (File photo/China News Service)
Chinese fans of the Houston Rockets have shifted their attention from the professional basketball team to real rockets, or Chinese all-girl group 101 Rocket Girls, and have even updated their social media following a tweet blunder on Sunday.
A Chinese netizen changed his introduction on his Sina Weibo account from being a fan of the Houston Rockets to a fan of the 101 Rocket Girls as uproar continues after the basketball team's general manager, Daryl Morey, voiced his support for the Hong Kong riots on his Twitter account.
The same netizen even uploaded videos of the girl group singing and dancing on Monday.
Another netizen posted a photo of an actual rocket on a popular Houston Rockets fan page on Baidu Tieba, one of China's largest online forums, and said that after 10 years, the online forum had finally returned to loving real rockets.
Web-users stood in unison. The forum issued a statement that said all news, schedules and game results related to the Houston Rockets would no longer be uploaded onto the site and called on the members to safeguard national interests.
"This Rockets forum should post more information about real rockets," one of the users wrote while introducing Chinese rockets such as the Long March-5.
Morey's tweet continues to cause widespread uproar on Chinese social media. It has not only irritated the team's Chinese fans but has triggered a series of rejections from business partners.
Sponsors and partners in China, including Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Credit Card Center, sports channels for China Central Television (CCTV) and streaming platform Tencent expressed their objections to Morey's tweet and announced on Sunday they would suspend their cooperation with the basketball franchise.
CCTV and Tencent said on Tuesday they would immediately suspend broadcasts of all NBA pre-season games in China.