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315 - Smartone Telecommunications Holdings News Story

HK$4.15 0.0  0.5%

Last Trade - 07/12/21

Sector
Telecoms
Size
Mid Cap
Market Cap £445.6m
Enterprise Value £475.1m
Revenue £649.6m
Position in Universe 1477th / 6188

UPDATE 1-Hong Kong protest-related website says users' access blocked

Sun 10th January, 2021 1:42pm
(Add comment from the government)
    HONG KONG, Jan 10 (Reuters) - A Hong Kong website that
publishes material mainly related to anti-government protests in
2019 said its users' access had been blocked by the city's
internet service providers (ISPs).
    The website, HKChronicles, said it began receiving reports
from Hong Kong-based users saying they were no longer able to
access the site as of late Wednesday. 
    "After discussing and investigating with our supporters, we
found that some ISPs of Hong Kong have deliberately dropped any
connection to our servers, so that the user could not receive
replies from our servers, resulting in an inability to access
our content," chief editor Naomi Chan said in a statement.
    The South China Morning Post, citing unnamed sources, said
on Sunday that Hong Kong police had invoked the city's national
security law for the first time to block HKChronicles.
    The police force had started asking ISPs to halt access,
citing Article 43 of the law, the newspaper reported. 
    "The police will not comment on specific cases," a Security
Bureau spokeswoman said in an emailed response to a Reuters
request for comment. "In conducting any operation, the police
will act on the basis of actual circumstances and according to
the law." 
    The Security Bureau said offences endangering national
security include secession, subversion, organization and
perpetration of terrorist activities and collusion with a
foreign country or with external elements to endanger national
security. The offences are punishable with up to life in jail,
according to the security law.
    "All relevant action will be taken strictly in accordance
with the law," the spokeswoman added.
    Under the disputed legislation imposed on the Chinese-ruled
Asian financial hub in June, the police can request service
providers to restrict access to electronic platforms or messages
that could pose a threat to national security. 
    HKChronicles said that based on reports from users, the ISPs
suspected of being involved in the blocking included Smartone
 0315.HK , China Mobile Hong Kong  0941.HK , PCCW  0008.HK  "and
others". It did not elaborate. 
    China Mobile, Smartone, and PCCW did not respond to requests
for comment. 
    The Hong Kong and Beijing governments say it is vital to
plug holes in national security defences exposed by months of
sometimes-violent anti-government and anti-China protests that
rocked the global financial hub in 2019.
    Hong Kong police arrested 53 people in dawn raids on
democracy activists on Wednesday, in the biggest crackdown since
China imposed the security law last year. The arrests have
raised alarm that Hong Kong has taken a swift authoritarian
turn.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2JH10L
    "I think right now many users are being affected, but few
websites are being affected. It seems like it's a technology
test, to test the influence of blocking websites to the entire
Hong Kong network," Chan told Reuters via the social media
platform Telegram. 

 (Reporting by Jessie Pang and Donny Kwok; Editing by Anne Marie
Roantree, William Mallard and Bernadette Baum)
 ((donny.kwok@thomsonreuters.com; +852 2843 6470; Reuters
Messaging: donny.kwok.reuters.com@reuters.net))
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