Social media users in China dodge censors to discuss Peng Shuai case online

Social media users in China dodge censors to discuss Peng Shuai case online

3/12/2021 12:32:00 PM

Social media users in China dodge censors to discuss Peng Shuai case online

BEIJING: With coded references to \u0022eating melons\u0022 and \u0022that person\u0022, social media users in China are getting creative to discuss tennis star Peng Shuai online as censors race to scrub all mentions of her sexual assault allegations. When Peng last month posted that former Chinese vice premier Zhang Gaoli fo

BEIJING: With coded references to"eating melons" and"that person", social media users in China are getting creative to discuss tennis star Peng Shuai online as censors race to scrub all mentions of her sexual assault allegations.When Peng last month posted that former Chinese vice premier Zhang Gaoli forced her to have sex, censors were quick to scrub the message and obvious discussion of Peng from social media.

The 35-year-old's allegations spread on Twitter - which is blocked in China but accessible using special virtual private networks - and sparked an international outcry.And many found ways to get around the censorship inside the Chinese firewall, initially using Peng Shuai's initials in English,"PS", to refer to the former world doubles number one online.

Messages including those initials were soon censored."Eddie Peng is too handsome," read one since-deleted post, according to screenshots - in an apparent reference to the Taiwanese actor. The characters for the movie star's surname and"handsome" make up Peng Shuai's name in Chinese. headtopics.com

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On pop culture review site Douban, some users turned to a mix of English and Chinese."Her WB id no le," one user wrote in a screenshot of a now-deleted Douban forum thread, referring to the disappearance of Peng's official Weibo account from the platform's search function.

"I hope her ping'an," another user said, wishing for the tennis player's safety.Douban is considered a more liberal platform, often drawing discussion pushing the political boundaries of the Chinese Internet.

Read more: CNA »

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