The virtually disappeared Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai made another awkward forced interview appearance during the Beijing Olympics. Her appearance is a reminder of a list of well-known Chinese celebrities that have disappeared after crossing the Comminust Party. None of them are bigger than China’s former version of Elon Musk, Jack Ma, who was last seen in a brief video in January 2021 after going missing a few months before that video appeared.
The drama surrounding Peng Shuai is following a familiar script, in which someone who has run afoul of China’s Communist government disappears from view.
Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai gave a controlled interview on Monday in Beijing that touched on sexual assault allegations she made against a former high-ranking member of China’s ruling Communist Party. Her answers – delivered in front of a Chinese Olympic official – left unanswered questions about her well-being and what exactly happened.
What happens next depends on the case, but it is not uncommon for the person in question to disavow the statements or actions that first upset officials. Other times, the person simply keeps a lower profile. Sometimes, their arrest is eventually announced.
Ms. Peng’s saga began in November, when she wrote in a social media post that a former member of the party’s all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee had forced her to have sex three years ago despite repeated refusals.
The post was quickly taken down and the former top-ranked doubles player dropped out of public view late last year.