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Censorship machine has suppressed Peng Shuai scandal in China – but attempts to control the narrative have rattled overseas audiences

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International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has a virtual discussion with Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Sunday. Photo: Greg Martin/Reuters

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has a virtual discussion with Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Sunday. Photo: Greg Martin/Reuters

Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai

Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai

Former vice premier Zhang Gaoli allegedly sexually assaulted Peng Shuai

Former vice premier Zhang Gaoli allegedly sexually assaulted Peng Shuai

Fan Bingbing, an A-list movie star, who vanished from the public eye for four months in 2019

Fan Bingbing, an A-list movie star, who vanished from the public eye for four months in 2019

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International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has a virtual discussion with Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Sunday. Photo: Greg Martin/Reuters

Tennis star Peng Shuai's sexual assault allegation and its aftermath have brought the realities of China's censorship and secrecy around its leadership to global attention just as Beijing prepares to host the Olympics.

Peng, who was not publicly heard from for nearly three weeks after alleging that former vice premier Zhang Gaoli sexually assaulted her, told International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach on Sunday by video call that she was safe and well.


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