Shuai Peng
Missing Tennis Star Peng Shuai: What To Know As Serena Williams, White House Speak Out Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images

Last month, #WhereIsPengShuai was trending online after former top-ranked doubles tennis star Peng Shuai from China reportedly went missing. In the past, Chinese business leaders, entertainers and others also vanished.

Peng Shuai

On Nov. 2, Peng Shuai, a former number one-ranked player in women’s doubles who won titles at Wimbledon in 2013 and the French Open in 2014, had claimed on Weibo that former Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli had sexually assaulted her. After her post was deleted from the platform, she apparently went missing. Weeks later she re-appeared in Beijing, China. The tennis star, who participated in three Olympics, interacted with International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach via a video call, but the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) isn't convinced about her safety.

On Tuesday, the European Union (EU) said that it wants the Asian country to release “verifiable proof" that she is safe. The EU also wants China to conduct a transparent investigation into sexual assault allegations made by Shuai, reported ABC News.

Meanwhile, WTA has announced an immediate suspension of all tournaments in the country as well as Hong Kong as Beijing has been silent on the allegations made by Shuai.

Jack Ma
Founder of Alibaba Group Jack Ma gives a speech at the 'Ma Yun Rural Teachers and Headmasters Prize' on January 7th, 2020 in Sanya, Hainan province, China. Photo by Wang HE/Getty Images

Jack Ma

After slamming Chinese regulators in an October 2020 speech, Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma disappeared, leading to rumors about his detention. He demanded reforms in the country’s regulatory system. After the speech, the government ordered his Ant Group to suspend a planned stock market debut in Shanghai and Hong Kong. His absence was first noticed weeks after the speech when he didn't appear in the final episode of Africa’s "Business Heroes," in which he was to serve as one of the judges. The Alibaba Group said that a scheduling conflict was the reason why he failed to appear in the TV show. But his friends said that it wasn’t true and that following criticism over his comments, he decided to keep quiet. Later, he appeared in a video in which he was addressing rural educators at an event.

Chen Qiushi

A lawyer, activist and citizen journalist was in the eye of the storm during the outbreak of coronavirus in Wuhan, China. The 36-year-old filmed the ground reality in Wuhan and uploaded the videos on social media. He went missing in February 2020, right after the incident but 600 days later, he resurfaced. Qiushi later on told that he experienced a lot of things in the past months but some of which couldn't be shared.

Ren Zhiqiang

Ren Zhiqiang, a real estate tycoon and an outspoken critic of Chinese President Xi Jinping, had gone missing in February last year after writing an essay criticizing the authorities in China. He called the country’s President a “clown," and slammed the government’s deficient response to coronavirus. Later, the former chairman of the state-owned Beijing Huayuan Group Co. Ltd. was sentenced to 18 years in jail in connection with corruption.

Zhao Wei

Popular Chinese actress Zhao Wei has been away from public eye since August, and her TV shows as well as films were removed from online streaming platforms. Her name has been removed from credits of the projects. Wei, whose Weibo account was shut down, was reportedly spotted in eastern China in September, but she hasn't been making public appearances. Wei and her husband had previously been banned from “China’s securities markets” for five years for market violations, and she was reportedly “widely known as a billionaire investor surrounded with lawsuits.”

Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei, who is one of China’s high-profile artists and activists, was arrested at the Beijing airport about a decade ago. Later, he revealed that he was kept in a secret detention centre, where there was round-the-clock surveillance. Amid intense international pressure, Weiwei, who helped design the 2008 Beijing Olympics Bird’s Nest stadium, was let go after 81 days.

Duan Weihong

Duan Weihong, a businesswoman vanished in 2017 and her husband, Desmond Shum, said that he didn’t hear from her for four years until he was gearing up to publish a book, “Red Roulette," based on corruption among elites in China. Shum said that his wife begged him in a call not to publish it. It remains unclear what exactly led to the businesswoman's disappearance.

Meng Hongwei

Meng Hongwei, the first Chinese president of Interpol, disappeared in October 2018 while he was traveling to China. Later it was revealed that he had been detained for crimes, including bribery. Interpol announced that he had stepped down from his post, and he was sentenced to more than 13 years in jail.

Lu Guang

Photographer Lu Guang disappeared in November three years ago. His wife claimed that state security officers might have detained him during his trip to China’s western Xinjiang area. The photographer, whose work largely focused on sensitive environmental and social issues in China, had been invited to take part in photography events in Urumqi, China in October.

His wife lost touch with her husband on Nov. 3, 2018 while he was traveling all by himself in Kashgar. She later contacted the wife of the person who had invited him and was informed that state security officers had taken both the men away. Guang's wife tweeted in September 2019 that he had been released a few months earlier.

Actress Zhao Wei
Actress Zhao Wei attends the 30th Tokyo International Film Festival Closing Ceremony at Ex Theatre on November 3, 2017 in Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Jun Sato/WireImage

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