updated 5/3/2007 9:53:59 AM ET 2007-05-03T13:53:59

Hackers allegedly hijacked satellite TV signals in southern China to broadcast anti-government messages, news reports said Thursday.

Viewers complained that their TV screens went blank for nearly two hours or showed anti-government messages for 30 to 40 seconds Tuesday evening, the Shanghai-based Xinmin Evening News said in a report on the Web site Sohu.com.

The report didn't describe the content of the messages that aired in Guangdong province.

TV station operators told viewers that hackers may have hijacked their satellites, the report said. But a receptionist who answered the phone at a cable TV operator in Guangdong said the incident involved a satellite problem that has been fixed.

"The satellite's reception wasn't very stable," said the receptionist, who declined to be named because she was not a spokeswoman.

Calls to Guangdong's broadcasting authority went unanswered.

Previous cases of jammed satellite signals in China have been blamed on the spiritual group Falun Gong, which is banned in the country as an evil cult. The group has said it doesn't have the technological expertise to launch such attacks.

Hong Kong's Apple Daily newspaper said the Chinese government censored news reports about the satellite interruption.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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