Thursday, December 9

Peng Shuai case: Photos of tennis player appear on the internet

As international pressure grows on China for information on Peng Shuai’s fate, images of the tenniswoman have surfaced on Twitter.

It is a jovial Peng Shuai that we see on the Internet. Four photos of the 35-year-old player who has disappeared since rape charges against a former senior Chinese leader surfaced on Friday night, November 19. The Twitter account @shen_shiwei, which originated the post, was labeled “media affiliated with the Chinese state”.

He says in English that the images were posted privately by the tennis champion on an ultra-popular social network in China, in order to wish a “good weekend” to his contacts.

A snapshot reveals the smiling player with a cat in her arms, in what appears to be her home. In the background, soft toys, a trophy, a Chinese flag and accreditations are visible. Another shows a selfie of Peng Shuai with a children’s animated film figure. In the background appears a frame with a picture of Winnie the Pooh.

Finally, a screenshot presented as that of Peng Shuai’s WeChat account completes the post.

Staged ?

While doubts remain about an email from Peng Shuai published on November 17 by Chinese state television, the authenticity of the photos has not been established. The supposed account of the player could also not be verified. In addition, requests for an explanation from the Twitter account which publicly resumed these photos remain unanswered for the time being.

The photos emerge as the hashtag #WhereisPengShuai (# WhereestPengShuai) floods social media. In addition, many questions persist despite the mention “today” which appears in Mandarin next to the images.

As a reminder, Twitter is a blocked social network in China and only people with VPN-like bypass software can access it.

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