The World Cup is a soccer tournament watched all over the globe, but Chinese state media were accused of not giving their fans the whole picture.
The allegation came 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 TV cut away from fans in Qatar who were in the crowd maskless as they deal with protests of “zero-COVID” policies.
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Mark Dreyer, a China Sports insider, flagged the broadcasts. Some of his tweets were taken down.
In one instance, the Western broadcast would show fans in the stands cheering on their countries while the Chinese broadcast would cut away to the coaches during pauses in the action.
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The alleged censorship came as Chinese President Xi Jinping faces countrywide protests against his “zero-COVID” policy.
Demonstrators poured into the streets over the weekend in protests not seen since the 1989 student-led pro-democracy movement created on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. Most protesters were angered over the restrictions that confine families to their homes for months. The policy has been criticized as neither scientific nor effective. Some of shouted for Xi to step down and give up his power.
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Police in Shanghai used pepper spray to drive away demonstrators and dozens were detained in police sweeps and taken away in police vans and buses.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.