A Hong Kong news platform has contacted the police over a number of “weird” push notifications published through its mobile app in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

“Starting midnight, our news app sent out multiple weird push notifications,” TVB News, the news arm of one of Hong Kong’s main broadcasters, reported. “Our information technology department immediately launched an interdepartmental investigation and followed up on whether the system was under attack. We have also contacted the police.”

More than 20 push notifications were sent, in both traditional and simplified Chinese, used in Hong Kong and mainland China, respectively. They included expressions such as “challenging the principle of ‘one country two systems’ is not allowed,” “patriots rule Hong Kong” and “Pikachu meets the press.”

Pikachu is a reference to chief executive hopeful John Lee, whose Chinese name Lee Ka-chiu sounds similar to the the Pokemon character.

One of the longer alerts read: “The central government’s support to Hong Kong’s anti-epidemic work fully showcased the blood ties between the mainland and Hong Kong, the central government’s care, and the advantage of ‘one country, two systems.’ In the face of obstacles, with the central government’s care, the support from the mainland, and the united effort of all Hongkongers, those obstacles shall be overcome.”

The last notification, which was in simplified Chinese, read: “The mother nation always keeps the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and Macau in mind. Only when working together can ‘one country, two systems’ run with stability. Achieving unification is the common wish of people across the straits. [We] sincerely hope all sons and daughters of China can go forward together and create a bright future for the Chinese nation.”

The news outlet has not published any notifications as of Tuesday noon.

Support HKFP  |  Code of Ethics  |  Error/typo?  |  Contact Us  |  Newsletter  | Transparency & Annual Report | Apps

Help safeguard press freedom & keep HKFP free for all readers by supporting our team

contribute to hkfp
2023 fund hkfp
YouTube video

Support press freedom & help us surpass 1,000 monthly Patrons: 100% independent, governed by an ethics code & not-for-profit.

contact hkfp