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China paper deletes HK curfew tweet on 'insufficient information'

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An influential state-backed Chinese newspaper on Thursday withdrew a tweet saying the Hong Kong government was expected to announce a weekend curfew, after its editor said there was "not sufficient" information to back up the report.

Beijing

AN influential state-backed Chinese newspaper on Thursday withdrew a tweet saying the Hong Kong government was expected to announce a weekend curfew, after its editor said there was "not sufficient" information to back up the report.

China's Global Times, citing unidentified sources, had put the news out on its English-language Twitter feed. The tweet from the fiercely nationalistic newspaper was live for little over half an hour before it vanished.

"#HKSAR government is expected to announce curfew for weekend," the paper said in a post on its verified Twitter account.

The editor of the Global Times, Hu Xijin, later tweeted that he had asked for it to be deleted because the sourcing was "not sufficient".

"I just checked how the information was obtained. My conclusion is that the information is not sufficient to support this exclusive news. I have demanded to delete the tweet," he tweeted in English.

The Global Times is a widely-read tabloid run by the ruling Communist Party's official People's Daily.

Twitter is blocked in China, but state media are generally given special dispensation to run their own Twitter accounts as the government seeks a wider international audience for its publications.

Hong Kong Police spokesman John Tse said he was not in a position to comment on rumours of a curfew, because the decision rested with the territory's chief executive, Carrie Lam. "We welcome any new measures that can help us to achieve the goal of restoring the public safety and order in Hong Kong," he said.

Mr Tse added that the police would welcome assistance from other "disciplined services forces" or "any measures to boost our manpower".

The Hong Kong government did not immediately respond to a request for comment. REUTERS, AFP

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