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Mark Cuban Defends Doing Business With China Despite Ethnic Cleansing Of Uighurs During Heated Megyn Kelly Interview

Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Fortune, Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Shelby Talcott Media Reporter
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Billionaire Mark Cuban said on “The Megyn Kelly Show” that he is “okay with doing business with China” despite its government committing an ethnic cleansing of the Uighurs, a minority Muslim group.

Journalist Megyn Kelly pressed Cuban about why the NBA has accepted millions from China on her new podcast, noting that its cozy relationship with the country has sparked backlash. The comments came during a Monday episode of her new podcast.

Cuban first responded by accusing Kelly of twisting questions to fit a narrative before repeatedly saying he condemns “all human rights violations.” After being pressed by Kelly, Cuban said that this condemnation does include the human rights violations being brought about by China – but added that he is still okay with doing business with them.

“I personally put a priority on domestic issues. I’m against human rights violations around the world,” Cuban said early on after Kelly asked why he and the NBA have refused to “explicitly condemn” human rights abuses at the hands of the Chinese government.

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The Chinese government has been accused of the ethnic cleansing of Uighurs, including forced labor and abortions, torture and more. (RELATED: China Committing ‘Demographic Genocide’ Against Uighurs Through Forced Abortion, Sterilization, Mass Detention, AP Investigation Finds)

“China is not the only country with human rights violations,” Cuban continued after Kelly pressed him again.

“Yes, including China. Any human rights violations anywhere are wrong,” he added after another push from Kelly.

Kelly later repeated her question asking why the NBA would accept “$500 million dollars-plus from a country that is engaging in ethnic cleansing.” Cuban first tried to side-step the question and then responded by saying that “they are a customer.”

“They are a customer of ours, and guess what, Megyn? I’m okay with doing business with China,” he said. “And so we have to pick our battles. I wish we could solve all the world’s problems. But we can’t.”

The NBA sparked backlash in 2019 after Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey voiced his support for pro-democracy protests occurring in Hong Kong. The Chinese government removed some NBA games from its televisions and pulled merchandise around the country as a result of his tweet.

Following this, the NBA issued a statement that appeared to back up the Chinese government, referring to Morey’s comments as “regrettable” because they “deeply offended our friends and fans in China.” Kelly brought this up during the heated discussion, as well.