NBA, Ant Group launch partnership in China

STORY: Ant Group has entered into a strategic partnership with the National Basketball Association's league in China.

The Chinese tech giant said Tuesday (February 21) that they would work together in many areas.

That includes on video content, program broadcasting and membership.

The company said Chinese basketball fans would have access to NBA video content on Alipay.

That is a popular payments app owned by Ant Group.

The collaboration will also cover areas like joint marketing campaigns and digital collectables.

The NBA's Chinese business arm launched a channel in Alipay last week.

It shows user-made content from NBA China's network of influencers and Alipay's content creators.

The NBA is one of the the U.S.'s most popular cultural exports to China, and makes hundreds of millions of dollars a year from its presence there.

Its popularity in the country took a hit in 2019, though, when then Houston Rockets General Manger Daryl Morey tweeted in support of anti-government protests in Hong Kong.

State broadcaster CCTV then stopped showing NBA games for 18 months.