Strong Stance on China and Peng Shuai Helps Land WTA a New Title Sponsor

The WTA has been an outlier in its approach to China. The ATP, which operates the men’s tennis tour, has not suspended its Chinese tournaments, and other professional leagues, including the N.B.A., have been reticent to confront Chinese authorities directly. Peng has reappeared in recent weeks and given some controlled interviews, claiming that she deleted the social media post herself and that she had been misunderstood and had not made sexual assault allegations. But the WTA, still lacking direct contact with Peng, has maintained its position. “We’ve been watching very…

Where Is Peng Shuai? Tennis Players and Fans Still Want to Know

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But Chinese television did not broadcast the women’s tournaments in 2022 that were played ahead of the Open despite owning the rights. It is unclear whether this constitutes a boycott. In 2019, CCTV stopped airing N.B.A. games after Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets at the time, expressed support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. No events for the WTA or ATP, the professional men’s tennis tour, have been held in China since early 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, which had shut down international sports events…

The Censoring of Peng Shuai

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Matthew Futterman contributed reporting. The Daily is made by Lisa Tobin, Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Larissa Anderson, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, M.J. Davis Lin, Austin Mitchell, Dan Powell, Dave Shaw, Sydney Harper, Daniel Guillemette, Robert Jimison, Mike Benoist, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi, Kaitlin Roberts, Rachelle Bonja, Diana Nguyen, Marion Lozano, Corey Schreppel, Anita Badejo, Rob Szypko, Elisheba Ittoop, Chelsea Daniel, Mooj Zadie, Patricia Willens and Rowan…

What Major Sports Are Still in China Amid Peng Shuai Scandal?

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The WTA has suspended its future tournaments in China and Hong Kong, as questions linger over Peng Shuai, the tennis pro who initially disappeared after she accused a Communist Party leader of sexual assault in social media posts. Peng resurfaced last month in appearances with Chinese officials, but it was unclear how freely she was able to speak. “While we now know where Peng is, I have serious doubts that she is free, safe and not subject to censorship, coercion and intimidation,” Steve Simon, the chief executive of the WTA,…

How WTA Chief Steve Simon Took on China Over Peng Shuai

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Simon’s refusal to accept China’s authoritarian stance on human rights once it directly affected one of his players stands in stark contrast to several high-profile leaders in sports who have repeatedly bent to the desires of the Chinese, including Adam Silver, the commissioner of the N.B.A., and Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee. Simon has been concerned about Peng’s physical safety but also believed, as did the members of his player council and others he communicates with regularly in a player chat group, that the silencing of…

‘Where is **?’: Fans in China Elude Censors to Talk About Peng Shuai

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Julien Chen was getting ready for bed when he learned that one of his favorite Chinese tennis players, Peng Shuai, had made #MeToo allegations against a powerful Chinese official. A friend told him to check Ms. Peng’s social media account. “There’s a ‘huge melon’ in the tennis circle,” the friend wrote, using the Chinese metaphor for a bombshell. Mr. Chen couldn’t find anything. He searched the word “tennis,” but Ms. Peng — one of China’s most famous athletes — appeared in barely any results. With stunning efficiency, China’s censors had…

WTA Suspends Tournaments in China Over Treatment of Peng Shuai

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The women’s professional tennis tour announced Wednesday that it was immediately suspending all tournaments in China, including Hong Kong, in response to the disappearance from public life of the tennis star Peng Shuai after she accused a top Communist Party leader of sexual assault. The move, which represents a groundbreaking shift in how major sports organizations deal with China’s increasingly authoritarian government, comes as the Women’s Tennis Association has failed to speak directly with Peng after she made the accusations in posts on her social media channels that were soon…

Do Sports Still Need China?

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Ultimately, the affair showed how even the most conscientious organizations could find their plans undermined by Chinese politics, how any business could unwillingly become a vessel for an international spat. “If you’re angering both sides, it means there is no middle ground, which I think was significant,” said Dreyer, the Beijing-based sports analyst. Like other observers, Dreyer suggested the WTA’s stance was potentially game-changing. But he noted, too, that it was possibly easier for the WTA to defy China than it had been for, say, the N.B.A., for two reasons.…

Who, and Where, Is Chinese Tennis Star Peng Shuai?

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A simple question has gripped the sports world and drawn the attention of the White House, United Nations and others: Where is Peng Shuai? The Chinese tennis star disappeared from public view for weeks this month after she accused a top Chinese leader of sexual assault, prompting a global chorus of concern for her safety. Then, this weekend, the editor of a Communist Party-controlled newspaper posted video clips that appear to show Ms. Peng eating at a restaurant and attending a tennis event in Beijing. And on Sunday, the International…

Peng Shuai Said to Be in Videos From China’s State Media

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Nearly two weeks after people across the world began asking “Where is Peng Shuai?,” two questionable videos surfaced Saturday on social media of a person who appears to be the Chinese tennis star at a restaurant. The videos were shared on Twitter by the editor of a state-run newspaper, but the seemingly unnatural conversation in one video and the unclear location and dates of both raised questions about Peng’s safety and whether she was appearing in the videos of her own free will. A third video, said to be of…

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