Simon on Saturday expressed reduction at seeing Peng, however he mentioned, “it stays unclear if she is free and capable of make choices and take actions on her personal, with out coercion or exterior interference.”

CNN has been unable to independently confirm the movies or affirm once they had been filmed.

“This video alone is inadequate. As I’ve acknowledged from the start, I stay involved about Peng Shuai’s well being and security and that the allegation of sexual assault is being censored and swept underneath the rug. I’ve been clear about what must occur and our relationship with China is at a crossroads,” Simon’s assertion mentioned.

A number of folks related to Chinese language state media and sport system have tweeted pictures and movies they are saying present Peng out to dinner on Saturday. The clips seem to intentionally emphasize particular dates.

One of many video clips, solely 45 seconds lengthy, seems to indicate Peng sitting with China Open match co-director Zhang Junhui together with two girls round a desk in a restaurant in Beijing.

All through the video, Zhang is chatting with Peng, however she would not say something.

Sooner or later, in line with CNN translation, Zhang mentioned, “Sure, this yr is completely different from final yr, due to the pandemic. Initially, we deliberate to have 10 excursions in three months, is not tomorrow November 20? We have now lengthy deliberate… “

However one of many two girls shortly corrected him, saying, “twenty first.”

“Oh, November 21, tomorrow is November 21, we can have the ultimate recreation at Duanshi,” Zhang continued.

“We had larger-scale video games earlier than, however due to the pandemic, two excursions have been affected. So it is estimated there might be fewer gamers, however the children are nonetheless very enthusiastic,” Zhang added.

“So the gamers in tomorrow’s recreation are the champions in the course of the previous 9 excursions prior to now three months. You may see it is Sunday, on the finish of November, so it is like a year-end closing,” Zhang mentioned within the video.

One other man, underneath the identify Ding Li, additionally tweeted the identical video and several other new pictures of Peng with him and others. He wrote, “Peng Shuai is with me. We’re at this restaurant in Beijing that is gone viral on-line, simply completed dinner.”

In his tweet, Ding claims the dinner is at Beijing Yibin Guesthouse. The identify of the restaurant matches what’s proven on this video posted by Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of state-run tabloid World Instances.

Beijing is going through rising worldwide stress over Peng’s whereabouts, together with from the United Nations, the US authorities, and the world’s largest tennis stars. The UN Human Rights Workplace has referred to as for an investigation into her allegations of sexual assault.

Amid the worldwide outcry, Chinese language state media’s Twitter accounts, with Hu’s being among the many most lively, have been more and more posting anonymously sourced details about the tennis star, ostensibly aimed toward quelling the controversy with out acknowledging her declare towards Zhang.

Chinese language state media organizations such because the World Instances are strictly managed by China’s propaganda authorities. Their tweets about Peng will not be reported inside China, which has lengthy banned Twitter and different worldwide social media platforms.

Peng’s publish in regards to the alleged sexual assault posted on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform, was deleted inside half-hour of publication, with Chinese language censors transferring swiftly to wipe out any point out of the accusation on-line. Her Weibo account, which has greater than half one million followers, continues to be blocked from searchers on the platform.

Simon, the WTA chief, mentioned on Friday he’s prepared to lose tons of of tens of millions of {dollars} value of enterprise in China if Peng is just not totally accounted for and her allegations will not be correctly investigated.

Earlier within the week, Chinese language state media launched an e-mail, purportedly despatched to Simon from Peng, strolling again her allegations and claiming she is okay.

The alleged e-mail was launched solely on English-language platforms and home Chinese language media haven’t reported on its contents, regardless of Peng being a family identify in China.

When requested in regards to the e-mail, Simon questioned its veracity, describing it as a “staged assertion of some sort,” noting he had but to obtain a follow-up reply, regardless of responding instantly.

“Whether or not she was coerced into writing it, somebody wrote it for her, we do not know,” mentioned Simon. “However at this level I do not suppose there’s any validity in it and we can’t be comfy till we have now an opportunity to talk together with her,” he added.

Afterward Friday, CGTN journalist Shen Shiwei tweeted three pictures he claimed Peng had posted on WeChat together with the message “comfortable weekend.”

Shen mentioned the pictures had been shared by certainly one of Peng’s associates. CNN couldn’t independently confirm when the pictures had been taken, whether or not Peng posted the pictures herself, or whether or not they had been posted in any respect.

In a Twitter publish on Saturday, Hu, of the World Instances republished the pictures of Peng.

“I confirmed by means of my very own sources at the moment that these pictures are certainly Peng Shuai’s present state. Prior to now few days, she stayed in her own residence freely and she or he did not wish to be disturbed,” Hu tweeted. “She is going to present up in public and take part in some actions quickly.”

Talking at a press convention Thursday, Chinese language Overseas Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian mentioned Peng’s accusation is just not a diplomatic challenge and declined to remark additional.

CNN’s Kevin Dotson contributed to this report.

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