Pro-Democracy Website Blocked as Communist China Clamps Down on Freedom in Hong Kong


A Hong Kong internet service provider on Thursday said it had blocked access to a pro-democracy website to comply with the city’s national security law.

In a statement emailed on Thursday, Hong Kong Broadband Network said that it had disabled access to HKChronicles, a website which compiled information on shops that had supported the city’s pro-democracy movement during anti-government protests in 2019.

“We have disabled the access to the website in compliance with the requirement issued under the National Security Law,” the company said.

The chief editor of the site, Naomi Chan, said in a post last week that users in Hong Kong reported the site as inaccessible. Chan accused telecoms companies of blocking the website.

“Naomi Chan hereby denounces ISPs that cooperate with the Chinese and Hong Kong government to restrict the citizens’ right and freedom to access information,” Chan said in a post on HKChronicles dated Jan. 7.

Breaking: McCarthy Removed in Historic Vote, 1st Time House Speaker Voted Out

Chan advised Hong Kongers to “make early preparations to counter future Internet blockage at a larger scale, and to face the darkness before dawn.”

The move to block HKChronicles has intensified concerns that Beijing is asserting more control over the city and breaking its promise to let the former British colony maintain separate civil rights and political systems for 50 years after the communist-ruled mainland took over in 1997.

It has also prompted fears that internet freedoms in Hong Kong could be curtailed in a campaign akin to the “Great Firewall of China,” a system of internet censorship on the mainland which blocks foreign search engines and social media platforms like Google, Facebook and Twitter and scrubs the internet of keywords deemed sensitive by the Chinese government.

Do you think this move is comparable to Big Tech companies removing access to conservative platforms?

Glacier Kwong, a digital rights and political activist based in Germany, wrote in a Twitter post last week that Hong Kong has “abused legal procedures and other means to hinder the freeflow of info online” over the last 18 months.

“The Hong Kong government is stifling Hong Kong people’s freedom on the Internet,” she wrote in another tweet.

“An open Internet has always been the cornerstone of freedom in a place. Disrupting Internet freedom also undermines the flow of information, freedom of communication, and freedom of the press.”

Beijing imposed a strict national security law on Hong Kong last June aimed at quelling dissent in the semi-autonomous territory after months of anti-government protests that at times descended into violent clashes between protesters and police.

Dead Whale Found in City Waters, Chilling Detail Reveals It Could Be Tourists' Fault

The security law criminalizes subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign powers to intervene in the city’s affairs. This includes acts such as displaying anti-government flags or criticizing the Chinese national anthem.

Just days before HKChronicles was blocked under Hong Kong’s national security law, the conservative social media platform Parler was similarly removed from the internet by tech corporations Amazon, Google and Apple.

[jwplayer K83VsCI1]

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , , ,
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City