Where is Peng Shuai now? Is she alive?

Where is Peng Shuai now?
Where is Peng Shuai now? (Tennis Now)

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Here’s everything you need to know about the current whereabouts of Chinese Tennis player Peng Shuai

Two years ago, Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai raised accusations of sexual assault against a high-ranking Communist Party official and subsequently disappeared from public view.

In response, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced that it would refrain from hosting any tournaments in China until Peng’s whereabouts were clarified, and a thorough, uncensored investigation of the allegations was conducted.

However, up to this point, there has been no official update or information regarding Peng, who was last seen briefly at the 2022 Winter Olympics. Surprisingly, there has been no progress in the investigation either. Nevertheless, the WTA’s $8 million China Open is currently taking place in Beijing.

Peng Shuai
Peng Shuai (Twitter)

Peng Shuai is a former professional tennis player who achieved the prestigious No. 1 ranking in doubles on the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) tour in 2014.

She also reached a career-high singles ranking of No. 14 in 2011. In her remarkable tennis career, Peng secured major doubles championships at Wimbledon in 2013 and the French Open in 2014. Her most notable Grand Slam achievement in singles was reaching the semifinals at the U.S. Open in 2014.

Throughout her career, Peng accumulated an impressive tally of 23 WTA titles in doubles and two in singles. Additionally, she represented China in tennis at three Summer Olympics. Her career earnings, as reported by the WTA, exceed $9.5 million. At the age of 37, Peng’s last recorded participation in a tournament was in Doha, Qatar, back in February 2020.

What led to the disappearance of Peng Shuai from the public eye?

Peng Shuai disappeared from public view following a social media post in November 2021, where she claimed that former vice premier Zhang Gaoli had coerced her into having a sexual encounter.

Chinese authorities swiftly removed this post, and this noteworthy #MeToo case, which involved a prominent figure in Chinese politics, went unreported by local media and was subject to stringent online censorship.

As concern and outrage mounted, the hashtag “Where is Peng Shuai?” gained momentum on social media platforms. Peng later attempted to retract her allegations, including in a controlled interview conducted during the Beijing Olympics in February 2022, and she made orchestrated public appearances during the Winter Games. Nevertheless, there have been no reports of her being seen in public since that time.

Peng Shuai
(COMBO) This combination of file photos shows tennis player Peng Shuai of China (L) during her women’s singles first round match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 16, 2017; and Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli (R)

Steve Simon, the CEO of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), urged Chinese authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into Peng’s allegations and to cease censoring discussions surrounding the matter.

In response, the state-affiliated Chinese Tennis Association issued a statement asserting that Peng was safe and not in any physical danger. However, Simon expressed concern that nobody associated with the WTA, including officials and active players, had been able to establish direct contact with Peng to verify her well-being.

In April 2023, it was announced that the suspension of WTA tournaments in China, particularly in Shenzhen, would be lifted, and events would resume in September. The WTA clarified that they believed the issue was unlikely to be resolved and explained their decision to lift the suspension by stating that it would be their “players and tournaments who ultimately will be paying an extraordinary price for their sacrifices.”

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