Tennis chief threatens to pull out from China

The head of the Women's Tennis Association says he is prepared to pull tournaments out of China unless tennis player Peng Shuai is accounted for.

The Chinese star has reportedly not been seen in public since early November, when she made sexual assault allegations against former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli.

In a post on social media platform Weibo, she said Zhang sexually abused her, and that they later had an extramarital relationship.

WTA Chief Executive Steve Simon said in an interview with CNN on Thursday that the body is willing to pull its business in China if her allegations are not properly investigated.

Simon also said the WTA would "deal with all the complications that come with it" because the issue is "bigger than the business."

On Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said the matter is not diplomatic, and that he is not aware of the situation.

Concern is rising about Peng. US-based Human Rights Watch has criticized Chinese authorities, saying they "have gone to great lengths to silence critics."

Japanese tennis star Osaka Naomi and other top players have also voiced their concerns.