A Chinese cable television service broadcast censored Tiananmen Square Massacre pictures and messages condemning the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), locals said, in what appeared to be a rare hacking attack.
Viewers in the eastern city of Wenzhou on Friday used social media to post images of television slogans referring to the CCP as “bandits,” and photographs of the bloody 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing.
Such images are almost never shown by media in China, where the CCP censors anti-government messages and references to incidents it deems sensitive, such as the Tiananmen Square Massacre when the army killed hundreds — by some estimates, thousands — of protesters.
It was not immediately clear who was behind the messages, which appeared on several different channels available through a local cable broadcaster, though Internet users speculated that the provider had been hacked.
A Wenzhou resident surnamed Gu said that he had turned on his television on Friday evening to be greeted with a photo of a tank on Tiananmen square.
“I found it irritating... it doesn’t feel right to vent your opinions by sacrificing others’ interests,” he said, adding that similar images and anti-communist slogans were broadcast for about four hours.
Another local resident, who declined to be named, said that his TV had shown a slogan saying: “Bandit Communists you’ve done too many evil deeds and now you’re feeling guilty.”
The Wenzhou branch of China Cable said on Sina Weibo, a Chinese equivalent of Twitter: “At the moment some areas of Wenzhou city are receiving unusual broadcasts; technical staff are currently trying to solve this issue. We hope viewers will understand.”
Several photos posted on Sina Weibo — which were later deleted — showed a TV screen displaying a banner which read “Free Wang Bingzhang,” referring to a Chinese pro-democracy activist jailed for life in 2003.
“Communist bandits are the real criminals,” a message shown in the corner of one viewer’s screen said.
Another photograph showed the channel displaying the iconic “Tank Man” photo from the 1989 crackdown, showing a lone man standing in front of a column of tanks.
Cable viewers also saw a message reading: “Friends, don’t co-operate with Communist devils,” imposed on top of a broadcast of a basketball match.
Subscribers were also shown graphic images showing apparent human rights abuses in the country, such as a protester being squashed under a truck.
The CCP does not tolerate organized dissent, and has regularly jailed members of any group which challenges its right to rule the country.
Internet users expressed surprise at the broadcasts, which were said to have ended late Friday, with some speculating that hackers were behind the attack.
Members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement, which has been banned in China since the late 1990s, have occasionally been accused of hacking local broadcasters in China to broadcast messages accusing the government of persecution.
The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has fully vaccinated 90 percent of its eligible adult population within just seven days, the Bhutanese Ministry of Health said on Tuesday. The tiny country, wedged between India and China and home to nearly 800,000 people, began giving out second doses on Tuesday last week in a mass drive that has been hailed by the UN Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) as “arguably the fastest vaccination campaign to be executed during a pandemic.” Bhutan grabbed headlines in April when its government said it had inoculated about the same percentage of eligible adults with the first dose
CAUSE FOR ALARM: The virus has spread through 14 provinces in just a few days despite high vaccination rates, as authorities ramp up containment measures China is confronting its broadest COVID-19 outbreak since the pathogen emerged in late 2019 after the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant broke through the country’s defenses, with cases now in 14 provinces. While the overall number of infections — more than 300 so far — is much lower than outbreaks elsewhere, the wide spread indicates that the variant has been on the loose for some time and is alarming officials who wield the strictest containment measures in the world. It is the biggest challenge for the world’s second-largest economy since the virus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December
MISINFORMATION: The digital giant said there were ‘numerous’ offending videos that were removed from the channel, which has 1.85 million subscribers Sky News Australia has been banned from uploading content to YouTube for seven days after contravening its medical misinformation policies by posting numerous videos that denied the existence of COVID-19 or encouraged people to use hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin. The ban was imposed by the digital giant on Thursday afternoon, the day after the UK’s Daily Telegraph ended Alan Jones’ regular column amid controversy about his COVID-19 commentary, which included calling the New South Wales Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant a village idiot on his Sky News program. YouTube has not disclosed which Sky News program the videos were from, but said there
CLAMPDOWN: Sydney’s lockdown has been extended three times, and more than 1,300 police were patrolling the city on Saturday to deter any would-be demonstrators Sydney reported a record-matching number of new local cases of COVID-19, while infections also rose in the state of Queensland, a day after its most-populous region went into lockdown. There were 239 cases in Sydney in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday, equal to the tally set three days earlier and the most since the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 began sweeping through the nation’s largest city in June. New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said there were some signs that the virus is mostly being contained to parts of Sydney’s southwest, where the strictest curbs are in place. While most residents have