China

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has criticized a tweet sent by Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey in support of Hong Kong protesters, saying of Morey, "I believe he wasn't educated on the situation at hand."

James has just returned from the NBA's tense trip to China, where teams played exhibition games but many player appearances were canceled owing to the controversy over Morey's statement, which was deleted shortly after it was posted.

Updated at 5:06 PM ET

President Trump on Friday announced what he calls "phase one" of a larger trade deal with China.

As part of the deal, a tariff increase planned for next Tuesday will not be imposed. The U.S. was scheduled to raise tariffs on about $250 billion worth of goods on October 15 from 25% to 30%.

The specifics of the deal are still being hammered out, and they haven't been signed yet. President Trump said he hopes that will happen in the next month or so. The leaders of the U.S. and China are expected to meet in November.

Trade is a signature policy area for President Trump, and one where he has been able to take dramatic action. Trump's protectionist policies appealed to voters in the industrial Midwest, the region that was critical to his 2016 victory. Now, Democratic presidential candidates are campaigning in the shadow of Trump's tariffs, subsequent trade wars, and pursuit of a replacement for NAFTA.

In the industrial city of Dongguan, China, the effects of the trade war on the Chinese economy are measured in idled machinery and empty bar stools.

"One year ago, you probably couldn't even get through the crowd because it would be so busy. But right now, even the smallest vendors can't survive," says Song Guanghui, the owner of Crowdbar, a tricked-out food stall in an open-air market in Dongguan.

Apple has removed from its App Store a smartphone app used by Hong Kong pro-democracy activists to crowdsource the location of protesters and police, after Chinese state media suggested the tech giant was aiding "rioters."

Apple initially rejected the app last week, saying that it "encourages an activity that is not legal," and allows users to "evade law enforcement," according to its developers.

Nonetheless, HKmap.live did briefly become available in the App Store before Apple announced Wednesday that it was being removed.

FIFA fined the Hong Kong Football Association Wednesday after fans protested the Chinese national anthem at a World Cup qualifying game against Iran. The Hong Kong and China national teams are separate, but FIFA plays the Chinese anthem because Hong Kong is considered an administrative region of China.

Doing business in China comes with major strings attached. This week it became evident that a few provocative words can cause those strings to tighten.

Updated at 7:32 p.m. ET

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is affirming the league will not censor players or front-office personnel, saying "freedom of expression" is paramount for the league, which has been criticized for its response to an employee's tweet about pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Silver says the NBA is not apologizing for a now-deleted tweet from Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey that thrust the NBA into tumult over its business dealings in China in recent days.

This August, Aibota Zhanibek received a surprising call in Kazakhstan from a relative through Chinese chat app WeChat. It was about her sister, Kunekai Zhanibek.

Aibota, 35, a Kazakh citizen born in China, knew that Kunekai, 33, had been held for about seven months in a detention camp in China's Shawan county, in the northwestern region of Xinjiang. For six of those months, Kunekai was forced to make towels and carpets for no pay, Aibota says. On the call, Aibota was told that Kunekai had been released and assigned a job in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang.

The Commerce Department has issued a list of 28 state security bureaus and tech companies in China that it says are being used to suppress the country's Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities – a move that blocks them from doing business with U.S. firms.

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