Chinese Sponsor Distanced Itself From Women’s Tennis Before WTA Pulled Events From China

December 3, 2021

The Women’s Tennis Association said that its largest Chinese sponsor asked last week to be removed from the organization’s website, the latest sign of tension between the tour and China after a sexual-assault allegation against a former Chinese government official was made on the verified social-media account of tennis pro Peng Shuai.

The sponsor, a Netflix-like streaming platform called iQiyi , made its request just ahead of the WTA’s announcementthat it would suspend all events in China over its concern for Peng. iQiyi had been listed as one of the WTA’s top-tier Global Official Partners, alongside Porsche AG , the German software company SAP SE , and US-based wearable technology company Whoop Inc. As of Friday, only the latter three remained. WSJ