World Cup 2022: Chinese state TV accused of censoring maskless fans as they deal with ‘zero-COVID’ protests
The World Cup is a soccer tournament watched around the world, but Chinese state media has been accused of not giving its fans the full picture.
The allegation appeared on social media during matches between Japan and Costa Rica, Australia and Tunisia, and Croatia and Canada, according to the South Morning Post. Chinese state television interrupted fans in Qatar who were in the maskless crowd as they deal with protests of “zero-COVID” policies.
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Mark Dreyer, an insider for China Sports, flagged the broadcasts. Some of his tweets were deleted.
In one case, the Western broadcast showed fans in the stands cheering for their countries, while the Chinese broadcast cut out the coaches during breaks in the action.
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The alleged censorship came as Chinese President Xi Jinping faces nationwide protests against his “zero-COVID” policy.
Demonstrators took to the streets over the weekend in protests not seen since the 1989 student-led pro-democracy movement created in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. Most of the protesters were angered by the restrictions that confine families to their homes for months. The policy has been criticized for being neither scientific nor effective. Some yelled at Xi to step down and give up power to him.
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Shanghai police used pepper spray to scare off protesters and dozens were rounded up in police raids and taken away in police vans and buses.
Associated Press contributed to this report.