The disappearance of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai

The Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai vanished after making an allegation of sexual assault against a senior political figure. Her subsequent reappearance has raised more questions than answers

At the beginning of November, the Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai publicly accused a former vice-premier of sexual assault, pitching the Communist party into a #MeToo scandal. Chinese authorities expunged her social media post within minutes and censors even appeared to block the word ‘tennis’ from online search results. Then Peng vanished from public view.

The Guardian’s Tania Branigan tells Hannah Moore how the affair has caused outrage across the world, with tennis authorities demanding answers from Beijing about the star’s wellbeing. A letter that emerged purportedly from Peng saying ‘everything is fine’ only served to heighten worries. She then appeared in a video interview with the International Olympic Committee, which again did not allay international fears about her ability to speak freely.

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