What Next

What Peng Shuai Started

The tennis player unraveled China’s carefully-curated image.


Episode Notes

When Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai accused a former Chinese Vice Premier of rape, what came next was darkly predictable: the athlete disappeared from public view while the government scrubbed all mentions of her allegations and censored searches for her name. But few expected the Women’s Tennis Association to strike back, suspending all future tournaments in China and Hong Kong.

As the WTA stands up to China - leaving millions of dollars on the table - will other sports organizations follow suit and hold the government to account over its human rights abuses?

Guest: Ben Rothenberg, writer covering tennis and host of the No Challenges Remaining podcast.

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Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Danielle Hewitt, Elena Schwartz, and Carmel Delshad.


About the Show

The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.

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  • Mary Harris is the host and managing editor of What Next, Slate's new daily news podcast. She has reported throughout the public radio system, for NPR, Marketplace, and WNYC.