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September 21, 2017

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Chinese TV 'displays anti-Communist messages'

BEIJING -- A Chinese cable television service broadcast censored Tiananmen crackdown pictures and messages condemning the ruling Communist party, 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 Communist party 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 Communist party censors anti-government messages and references to incidents it deems sensitive such as the Tiananmen crackdown when the army killed hundreds — by some estimates more than 1,000 — 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 told AFP 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."

"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," the Wenzhou branch of China Cable, said on Sina Weibo, a Chinese equivalent of Twitter.

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