Chinese basketball club fined 1million for Chairman Mao-inspired adverts

This is the 'Chairman' Mao Zedong-themed poster a Chinese basketball club has used to promote a match angering fans and resulting in a 1,000,000-RMB fine.

The poster was used by top-flight Chinese basketball club Zhejiang Guangsha Lions based in the Hangzhou City located in the Zhejiang Province in eastern China as a preview for their match against Bayi Rockets scheduled for yesterday (Thursday).

The poster shows the head of a lion seemingly imitating the design used for the head of former Chinese dictator Mao Zedong in his propaganda posters during his time as leader of China.

Some of the players can be seen under the lion while a slogan used by Mao Zedong is written on top.

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The slogan says: “Lagging behind, you will be bullied and humiliated” in reference to China’s position in the world economy at the time.

Shortly after the publication, the club was fined 1 million RMB (107,893 GBP) and received heavy criticism from the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) which released a statement saying the post “contains very inappropriate information and causes an extremely bad influence on society.”

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“Guangsha Lions lose the qualification to get an outstanding award this season and will receive a fine of 1 million RMB.”

The post made by the club also angered many fans as ‘albertini’ wrote: “Only one million? I would rather see the club being dismissed.”

‘benyue’ commented: “Fortunately it is modern-day China. If you did it during the Cultural Revolution, you would have all been killed…”

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'qian83770' wrote: "I wonder if the Guangsha company still want to do business in China?"

Shortly after the CBA’s statement, Guangsha Lions announced they had dealt with the people responsible.

The club also released a statement that said: "In the future, we will seriously study our country's ideology and improve self-reflection strictly controlling the relevant work process and firmly prevent the recurrence of such incidents."

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Guangsha Lions won the match 95-76 and are fifth in the CBA.

Mao was a Chinese communist revolutionary and founder of the People’s Republic of China.

He was a highly controversial leader, mainly due to disastrous policies such as the ‘Great Leap Forward’ and the ‘Cultural Revolution’.

Many felt his regime brought about mass repression, as well as destroying religious and cultural artifacts and sites.

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It was also responsible for deaths ranging between 30 and 70 million, as a result of starvation, persecution, prison labour and mass executions.

The Zhejiang Guangsha Lions employees who were responsible for the ‘seriously improper information’ have been sacked and expelled from the Chinese Basketball Association for life.

The punishment comes less than a week after a former NBA player was fined for failing to acknowledge the Chinese national flag during the national anthem while playing for a Chinese employer.

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