The Hong Kong government on Tuesday admitted imposing restrictions on Internet access three days after the ban on masks in demonstrations, which has intensified protests to demand the democratization of the local political system.
"The government will not rule out the possibility of banning the Internet," he told AFP news agency Ip Kwok-Im, a member of the Executive Board of the Chinese Special Administrative Region and deputy aligned with the positions of the central Chinese government.
The pro-democracy movement uses online forums and encrypted email to organize protest actions.
Ip Kwok-Im, however, emphasized that restricting Internet access could have negative consequences for Hong Kong.
"I think one of the conditions for implementing the Internet ban would not be to affect Hong Kong companies," said Executive Council member, the advisory body of the head of government, Carrie Lam.
The threat of restrictions on Internet access comes after three days of flashmobs and unauthorized actions that brought tens of thousands of people in various parts of Hong Kong.
Many subway stations were vandalized by radical groups and much of the network was closed over the weekend. Some stations and stores have not reopened on Monday, a local holiday.
Companies linked to China, including banks, have also been vandalized.
On Monday night, the walls of a Bank of China branch were painted with slogans.
Also at night, radical groups vandalized storefronts, blocked arteries in many neighborhoods, and damaged two subway stations.
Police used tear gas against protesters in at least three locations.
On Monday afternoon, demonstrations by masked protesters took place in several shopping centers following the decision taken on Friday to ban covered faces.
Carrie Lam took this step after meeting with the executive board, finding it necessary to end four months of unprecedented protests.