Written by By Donna Tam-Schenk, CNN
The controversies surrounding Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai are burning brightly right now, going beyond China’s tennis legacy.
As the ongoing “Peng controversy” (a play on the English words “sponsors”) continues to burn bright and well, it’s worth tracking down some of the companies that are bearing the brunt of the Chinese tennis community’s resentment against their multimillion dollar brands.
As an athlete, Peng is a big fish in the Chinese community.
In September, she was considered an underdog — selected to play at Wimbledon — before eventual champion Naomi Osaka took the title. But it was the end of the road for her during the Asian Games in Indonesia in September. A report in September from Chinese broadcaster CCTV said Peng had misbehaved during the Games.
As an athlete, Peng is a big fish in the Chinese community — just like Li Na before her, she’s still remembered fondly.
After the Tennis Association of China (TAIC) placed Peng on “observation” status in 2017, she was forced to suffer through the lengthy march back up to the required medal totals after failing at an Asian Games where she was one of the favorites.
That the Malaysian-born Chinese player is currently trying to find a way back into China’s national team, due to her mother’s Indian citizenship, has only served to inflame the anger of many.
Her agency is now petitioning the Chinese Tennis Association to allow her to play at the Olympics.