A Chinese state media journalist on Saturday shared pictures of tennis star Peng Shuai in an attempt to quell the specualations around her disappearance. The reporter named Shen Shiwei, who works for the English department of CGTN, a Chinese state sponsored media channel, posted the photos of a seemingly happy Shuai on Twitter, claiming that it was sent shared by the tennis player on the Chinese social media platform WeChat. Ever since Shiwei shared the post on Twitter, the photos are causing a stir, particularly one selfie including Winnie the Pooh in the background.
Peng Shuai’s WeChat moments just posted three latest photos and said “Happy weekend”.
Her friend shared the three photos and the screenshot of Peng’s WeChat moments. pic.twitter.com/tut8CEH6gu
— Shen Shiwei沈诗伟 (@shen_shiwei) November 19, 2021
Shuai’s selfie with Winnie the Pooh has sparked fresh speculations on Twitter due to the character’s partial ban in China. Winnie the Pooh photos are not all banned, but a few are because they have been used by Chinese citizens to ridicule President Xi Jinping on multiple occasions. Images related to the cartoon character had disappeared from the internet in China several years ago after they were apparently used by netizens in the Communist country to mock Jinping. Netizens are doubting if the selfie was a deliberate attempt by Shuai to send a subtle message.
Peng Shuai彭帥 used this photo to imply that she is being controlled by the Kung Fu Panda功夫貓熊 (according to one of the CCP’s mouthpiece Global Net環球網 on May 25, 2020, Kung Fu Panda=CCP-China).
Winnie the Pooh (known all over the world = Xi Jinping) is the one behind it. pic.twitter.com/C2scO6Wuqh
— 幸運草 Lucky clover (@lucky_clover_tw) November 20, 2021
Apparently these photos are supposed to convince people she’s fine. If so, she would be able to talk to the WTA. Don’t fall for this nonsense, people.
— #WhereIsPengShuai (@danbrusca) November 19, 2021
What happened to Peng Shuai?
Shuai had gone missing after she shared a post on Chinese social media platform Weibo, where she accused the former vice premier, Zhang Gaoli, of sexual assault. Peng had accused the former Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of forcing her into having sex with him in what she described as a brutal sexual assault incident that occurred almost three years ago and left her emotionally and mentally wrecked. In a since-deleted social media letter that she posted on Chinese social media platform Weibo on November 2, the athlete made #MeToo allegations against the 75-year-old ex-member of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s powerful Chinese Communist Party.
Ever since it first came to the light that Peng Shuai is missing, the Chinese state media journalists have been sharing pictures and videos of the tennis star to prove she is safe and free in China.
Several superstars from all over the world, including tennis legends Roger Federer, Serena Williams, and Novak Djokovic, have since raised their voices to demand the prompt release of Peng. US President Joe Biden has said his country is considering boycotting the upcoming Winter Olympics in China over alleged human rights violations in the Communist nation.