Coded Expressions, references to “watermelons” or specific “PS”: Tennis woman Peng Shui in China has been ignored, but Internet users have shown ingenuity in avoiding censorship of social networks.
In a message published online in early November, the champion spoke at length about her complicated relationship with former Chinese vice-premier Zhang Goli and referred to her sexual relationship with him, which she felt “forced” to accept.
Montreal Dick Pound, a senior member of the International Olympic Committee, commented on the Peng Shui Dosier on TVA Nouvelles this afternoon: It’s a must see in the main video.
Before the censorship was removed, only a few minutes of text remained on the official account of the 35-year-old player on the Chinese social network Weibo.
Since then, the case has been completely ignored by the Chinese media. And censors are redoubled their efforts to remove any mention of the scandal on social networks.
Many Chinese are unaware of the affair, especially since many foreign media websites have been blocked in China.
However the information is still transmitted through private messaging and word of mouth.
To avoid censorship, Internet users first began using the former world number one initials (“PS”) in doubles. A maneuver was quickly detected and censored.
Hence the ingenious “coded” hashtag: “#PengYuan Super Handsome”, a reference to the famous Taiwanese actor Peng Yuan in China.
“Beau” says “Shui” in Mandarin, the first and last Chinese letter in the hashtag “Peng” and “Shuai” – the name of the champion.
Other Weibo users went to the tennis page to talk about the “big watermelon” that made the headlines.
In Chinese, the word “eat watermelon” means to be interested in news that attracts or attracts attention.
“Even when I’m asleep, I wake up to eat watermelon,” a Weibo user wrote in a deleted post. He did not mention Zhang Goli’s name but described him as a “politically sensitive man”.
On the Weibo account of the WTA, the international organization that runs the women’s tennis circuit, some showed their “support” for the organization that decided to cancel its tournaments in China, without explicitly mentioning Peng Shuai.
Internet users also sometimes find refuge in the most unsuspecting corners of the web.
Some commented on the matter on the film review site Dowan, on the page dedicated to the South Korean series “The Prime Minister and Me” …
These kinds of tips did not last long in the wake of the vigilance of the censor authorities.