China is refuting NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s claim that it demanded the firing of Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey over a tweet that supported anti-government protests in Hong Kong.

During an appearance at the Time 100 Summit in New York on Thursday, Silver said the NBA was “being asked to fire [Morey] by the Chinese government, by the parties we dealt with, government and business.”

Now Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the “Chinese government never posed this requirement.”

On Thursday, Silver said the NBA has already suffered “substantial” financial consequences over Morey’s tweet and that he doesn’t know where the league will go from here.

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