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Chinese TV cuts maskless World Cup scenes as Covid protests escalate: report

Chinese broadcaster cuts shots of maskless fans at Qatar World Cup. (Representative)


China’s state broadcaster cuts close-ups of maskless fans at the Qatar World Cup, after early coverage sparked anger at home where street protests erupted over tough Covid-19 restrictions. 19.

China is the last major economy still trying to stamp out the national spread of Covid-19 with instant lockdowns, long quarantines and mass testing campaigns.

During a live broadcast of Sunday’s group match between Japan and Costa Rica, state broadcaster CCTV Sports replaced close-up shots of maskless fans waving flags with images of players, officials or of the football stadium, observed AFP.

CCTV Sports showed distant shots of the crowd where it was difficult to distinguish individual faces, and fewer crowd shots compared to the live broadcast of the same game on online platforms, including Douyin – the Chinese version of Tik Tok.

Tens of millions of people in major cities including Beijing, Guangzhou and Chongqing were in some form of lockdown on Sunday – a contrast to the raucous World Cup crowds that infuriated many Chinese social media users .

An open letter questioning the country’s Covid-19 policies and asking if China is “on the same planet” as Qatar spread on popular messaging app WeChat on Tuesday, before censors removed it from the platform.

Hundreds of people took to the streets of Beijing and Shanghai on Sunday to protest China’s zero Covid policy in a rare wave of public anger against the state.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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