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Nike ad hits wall of bureaucracy

Commercial features NBA star Lebron James

Chinese authorities banned a Nike commercial Monday, stating it is “disrespectful to the traditional culture of the Chinese people.”

Ad features NBA star Lebron James sinking a basket on a martial arts-themed court as warriors twirl nunchuks.

All broadcast ads in China must be approved by the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television. Ads by foreign firms depicting Chinese firms often receive greater scrutiny than those by domestic companies.

Nike officials couldn’t be reached for comment, and an NBA representative in Hong Kong declined comment.

The NBA’s popularity soared in China after Chinese center Yao Ming signed with the Houston Rockets in 2002.

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