The Anonymous hacktivist collective has advised the Chinese government that it intends to launch attacks on government websites this weekend in response to ongoing human rights violations in Hong Kong.
The Chinese authorities have a fractious relationship with the internet, and regularly limit citizens' access to sites and services.
Anonymous plans to launch a series of denial of service attacks against official sites and servers in an attempt to take them offline. The hackers have used this method before with some success. Other events are likely to support the action.
Anonymous has already released a video in which it warns the Chinese authorities of the impending action.
"Here's your heads up, prepare for us, try to stop it, the only success you will have will be taking all your sites offline. China, you cannot stop us," reads the message.
"You should have expected us before abusing your power against the citizens of Hong Kong."
The message follows an incident on 28 September when protesters took to the streets of Hong Kong and the government responded by deploying arms. A video report of the event follows the earlier Anonymous warning.
Reuters attended a local news briefing following the recent warning, and reported China as saying that the threat is typical of its rivals.
"If this is true, it will show that the Chinese government is a victim of internet hacking," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei.
"China has consistently stressed our opposition to all internet hacking attack activities. We rebuke the acts of this organisation."
The news agency added that reports from the Hong Kong authorities confirmed a few assaults earlier this week.
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