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Audio: Mark Cuban ‘ok doing business with China’ despite human rights violations

Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban welcomes attendees during a "Courageous Conversations" meet-up to discuss systemic racism at Victory Plaza outside the American Airlines Center in Dallas on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. (Lynda M. Gonzalez/Staff Photographer/TNS)
June 06, 2024

Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, said he was “ok doing business with China” despite the country’s human rights violations against Muslim Uyghurs during a recently resurfaced interview with Megyn Kelly.

Kelly, who shared the interview on her official Twitter account, asked the billionaire owner how he justifies doing business with a country that has recently committed several human rights violations, including accusations of ethnic cleansing of the country’s Muslim minority, torture, forced labor, coercive population controls, forced abortions, and forced sterilizations.

“I personally put a priority on domestic issues,” Cuban said on The Megyn Kelly Show. “When it comes to human rights, I’m against all human rights violations around the world. China is not the only country with human rights violations.”

When asked why he would not be specific about condemning China, Cuban responded, “Because the way proclamations work in this country, the minute you say, you’re going to use this as a headline.”

“What’s wrong with that headline?” Kelly responded, adding the theoretical headline, “Cuban condemns ethnic cleansing in China.”

“Then I have to deal with the troll bots,” Cuban said. “What’s more important is to ask what actions I think are important to deal with these issues.”

READ MORE: China demands French museum censor Genghis Khan exhibit

Kelly scoffed at Cuban’s response, adding, “That isn’t a response to what’s happening in China.” She also asked why the NBA took over $500 million from a country that is engaging in ethnic cleansing.

“They are a customer. They are a customer of ours, and guess what, Megyn? I’m ok with doing business with China,” Cuban said. “I wish I could solve all of the world’s problems, Megyn, and I’m sure you do, too. But we can’t. So, we have to pick our battles.”

The NBA previously faced criticism after calling comments made in support of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong “regrettable.”

Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets, tweeted the comments supporting Hong Kong. The tweet read, “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.”

In response, the Chinese Communist Party removed Rockets merchandise from its stores, removed some games from state television, and multiple Chinese corporations ended their league sponsorships. The NBA later condemned Morey’s tweet in an apparent effort to stop the economic losses.