Business as usual for China’s NBA fans despite trade war

By: Jason Cho, Danielle Goldfarb, and Emily Kuzan

Who do you think is more likely to win the MVP of the 2019 NBA finals?

Update June 13, 2019: On the eve of game 6 of the NBA playoff finals, 59 percent of Chinese fans believe the Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry will win the MVP award compared with 41 percent for the Toronto Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard. Almost half of China’s online population – equivalent to about 400 million people and more than the populations of the U.S. and Canada combined – had a view on the MVP question.

We are in the midst of a major escalation in the China-U.S. trade and technology war and related freeze in China-Canada relations. At the same time, real-time RIWI data from 6,401 respondents (current as of June 13 end of day Beijing time) in China show that they are deeply engaged in the NBA playoffs, which pit the Toronto Raptors against the Golden State Warriors. The NBA is a North American export to China that is not caught up in the political1 dispute (in contrast to Apple iPhone exports that are the subject of boycott rumors in China – see RIWI’s China Apple boycott data here). Almost half of respondents representative of China’s online population has a view on which team will win the NBA Finals MVP award.

To see more on RIWI’s NBA data in China, click here.

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