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Hong Kong's Asia Television Leads with Former Chinese Leader Jiang Zemin Death Coverage

Searches and microblog posts on the former president are being removed by Chinese censors.

HONG KONG – Asia Television (ATV) reported the death of Jiang Zemin, the former leader of the People’s Republic of China, in a primetime news story Wednesday.

Citing unnamed Beijing sources, the breaking news report on its Cantonese-language Home channel announced Jiang’s death and recounted his rise to the top of the Chinese government and myriad achievements during his lifetime. No cause of death was given. A special program on Jiang’s life was scheduled for three-and-a-half hours later and advertised extensively on the channel, but the program was cancelled shortly before its scheduled broadcast.

Jiang’s death report was repeated during ATV Home’s late news, also citing Beijing sources, but with the added line “authorities have not yet announced the news.”

No mention of the rumor or the death of the former PRC president, general secretary of the Communist Party of China was made on the terrestrial Television Broadcast or on NOW TV, ATV’s rival channels in Hong Kong.

ATV is owned by Shanghai property tycoon Wang Zheng and Wong Ben-koon, a relative.

China’s blogosphere began churning out rumors of Jiang’s death on Tuesday night, but posts were quickly deleted and searches on Jiang on microblogs were later blocked.