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Peng Shuai Email Sends a Disturbing Message

By Matthew Brooker

19 Nov 2021 · 3 min read

If the intention of the email purportedly from Peng Shuai was to damp down the controversy surrounding the Chinese tennis star’s disappearance following allegations of sexual impropriety against a retired Communist Party leader, then it’s safe to say that it has backfired.

The email, posted on Twitter early Thursday in Asia by CGTN, the overseas arm of state broadcaster China Central Television, immediately provoked more questions than it answered. The recipient, Steve Simon, chairman and chief executive officer of the Women’s Tennis Association, was unconvinced of its authenticity. “I have a hard time believing that Peng Shuai actually wrote the email we received or believes what is being attributed to her,” Simon said in a statement, noting that it only raised his concerns over her safety and whereabouts.

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