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On Monday, the Chinese government censored a live CNN segment on Peng Shuai, the Chinese tennis player who vanished one week after accusing the country’s former vice premier of sexual abuse.
The small window on the bottom of the screen shows CNN’s feed in China during the report:
CNN is censored in real time in China as they report on a Chinese tennis star who has accused a top communist official of sexual assault and since virtually disappeared. pic.twitter.com/s85VmtA3Pp
“It is a live, real time example of the censorship that’s happening in the mainland,” CNN’s Will Ripley said. “They have an army of censors waiting to push that button the minute that we start talking about this story.”
That type of censorship is terrifying and normal in China. Thus, select media and tech companies have finally begun to push back.
On November 1, Yahoo Inc. pulled out of China after citing an “increasingly challenging business and legal environment.”
Yahoo made the decision a few weeks after Apple, at China’s demand, removed Yahoo from its Chinese app store because Yahoo Finance republished a Bloomberg story critical of China’s crackdown on the tech industry. Microsoft also recently pulled LinkedIn out of China.
The ball is now in CNN’s court to make a statement. For all its flaws, CNN has reported accurately on Shuai’s disappearance, an ominous story that sheds light on the human rights violations in China.