Beijing [China], November 21 (ANI): Missing Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai has purportedly appeared in a 'new' video released by the state media in which she is seen with her friends in a restaurant.
A video posted by the editor of a Chinese state media tabloid shows Peng having dinner reportedly on Saturday Beijing time.
"I acquired two video clips, which show Peng Shuai was having dinner with her coach and friends in a restaurant. The video content clearly shows they are shot on Saturday Beijing time," Global Times Editor in Chief Hu Xijint tweeted along with the video posted on Twitter.
This video comes after Hu said he had confirmed through his sources that photos shared on Twitter by Chinese state media, purportedly showing Peng at home, depicted her "current state".
Peng, who is one of China's most recognizable sports stars, had disappeared from public view after she accused former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of coercing her into sex at his home, according to screenshots of a since-deleted social media post dated November 2.
On Saturday, United Nations called for an investigation into Peng Shuai's disappearance while the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) is willing to lose hundreds of millions of dollars worth of business in China for the tennis player.
China is facing pressure from the UN over Chinese tennis stars' whereabouts as the organization called for an investigation into her allegations of sexual assault, reported CNN.
The head of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Steve Simon has said he is willing to lose hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of business in China if Peng is not fully accounted for and her allegations are not properly investigated, CNN reported. "We're definitely willing to pull our business and deal with all the complications that come with it," Simon said in an interview on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the White House on Friday said that it is "deeply concerned". "We are deeply concerned about reports that Peng Shuai appears to be missing after accusing a former PRC (Peoples Republic of China) senior official of sexual assaults. We join in the calls for PRC authorities to provide independent and verifiable proof of her whereabouts and that she is safe," said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
Peng's post on Weibo, China's Twitter-like platform, was deleted within 30 minutes of publication, with Chinese censors moving swiftly to wipe out any mention of the accusation online. Her Weibo account, which has more than half a million followers, is still blocked from searchers on the platform, reported CNN.
Earlier this week, Chinese state media released an email, purportedly sent to Simon from Peng, walking back her allegations and claiming she is fine. The alleged email was released only on English-language platforms and domestic Chinese media have not reported on its contents, despite Peng being a household name in China.
WTA head had questioned its veracity, describing it as a "staged statement of some type," noting he had yet to receive a follow-up reply, despite responding immediately. (ANI)