The government may curb access to the internet in an effort to contain the increasingly violent protests, executive councillor Ip Kwok-him said on Monday.
He made the comments after the Chief Executive Carrie Lam enacted colonial-era emergency legislation on Friday giving her sweeping powers. She said it was necessary to ban demonstrators from wearing face masks and help quell the ongoing unrest.
However the violent protests continued over the weekend, with tens of thousands of people turning out in masks in defiance of the ban.
Ip, a veteran pro-Beijing politician, said: "As long as there are possible ways to stamp down on the riots, the government will not rule out the possibility of placing a ban on the internet."
He said the internet has been crucial to protesters, who have no public leaders and use online forums and encrypted messaging apps to mobilise.
But he said the government recognised any online shutdown could have a knock-on effect.
"I think a condition for implementing the internet ban would be not to affect any businesses in Hong Kong," he said. (AFP)