November 14, 2019 / 8:04 AM / a month ago

China paper says Hong Kong curfew tweet withdrawn due to insufficient information

A protester stands on a bridge that runs over the entrance to the Cross Harbour Tunnel, which is blocked by protesters outside the campus of the Polytechnic University in Hong Kong, China November 14, 2019. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

BEIJING (Reuters) - 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, but the post was later deleted.

“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,” Global Times editor Hu Xijin tweeted in English.

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

Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters paralyzed parts of the Chinese-ruled city for a fourth day on Thursday, forcing schools to close and blocking highways as students built barricades and stockpiled makeshift weapons, setting the stage for campus showdowns.

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.

Reporting by Tony Munroe, Gao Liangping and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Kim Coghill and Edwina Gibbs

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