China blocks BBC website amid Hong Kong protests

BEIJING - The BBC's website was blocked in China on Wednesday, one day after a video of Hong Kong police beating and kicking a pro-democracy protester began circulating online.

The move appears to be the first time the British broadcaster's website has been completely blocked in China since December 2010, when it was inaccessible for days ahead of the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony for Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.

The BBC's Chinese-language website has been blocked in China since it was launched in 1999, aside from a few months around the time of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

"Extra censorship in mainland China today," the BBC's Asia bureau chief Jo Floto wrote in a Twitter posting on Wednesday, noting authorities also have a "usual practice of blacking out BBC World during Hong Kong reports".

Charlie Smith, a co-founder of the anti-censorship group, confirmed that the broadcaster's website was blocked in China on Wednesday.

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