Hong Kong Protests Spark Far-Reaching Controversies


Photo and Caption by Joseph Chan via Unsplash: More than 1 million marched in protest against controversial extradition bill, 09/06/2019

The Hong Kong protests have disrupted more than just the streets of Hong Kong. Supporters in the NBA, gaming communities, and political world are being punished. Companies with large manufacturing bases in China like Nike and Blizzard Entertainment, have faced criticism from fans and consumers alike.

As a result of the uproar in Hong Kong, the gaming community is facing trouble. A Hong Kong gamer by the name of Ng Wai Chun, also known as “Blitzchung,” showed support for the pro democracy riots happening right in his hometown during a live stream interview. Blizzard Entertainment immediately retaliated, stating that Blitzchung had violated streaming guidelines, suspending him from streaming services and taking away prize money, though they eventually restored it to him. Other gamers have joined in support of the protests. Blizzard Entertainment was forced to remove a main character from Hearthstone to shut down the disturbances. Blizzard’s pro-Chinese stance has not gone without financial consequence, however. Their stance on this issue has cost them the sponsorship of Mitsubishi.

Another place where protests have risen to prominence is the NBA. Stadiums have been flooded by protesters right at their doors. In response, China has threatened the future of business deals with the NBA as tension continues to build. As China withdraws from pro-Hong Kong business partners, they may find financial support harder to come by. Support for the protests within the NBA is not helping the situation. Players and coaches have stood by Hong Kong and are not afraid to publicize it. As a result, China could take away money grants, and, as a result, members of the NBA may see their salaries drop.

Meanwhile in Hong Kong, the situation has not changed. Protesters want reform and won’t stop until they get it. Political tensions with China are rising as the US struggles to reconcile its ideological and economic interests. At the Wilson Centre in Washington, Vice President Mike Pence stated, “To the millions in Hong Kong who have been peacefully demonstrating to protect your rights these past months, we stand with you.” Hong Kong is being torn apart and this has affected the whole world. With new struggles for freedom arising each day, it is hard to take a stand. Support is coming from powerful places, jeopardizing entire companies. Still, the fight must go on. Each day courageous men and women fight for the rights they deserve, taking a stand where others won’t.