We asked Twitter for a comment. However, the campaign of Xinhua seems to target at least some people in Hong Kong.
This kind of behavior is not shocking. The Chinese government has suppressed critics who disagree on Twitter, although the service is suspended outside of Hong Kong. The country is determined to control political discussions in social networks, whether most Chinese people can see them or not. In this respect, this is just an extension of his current tactic.
However, Twitter is in an awkward position. While not a stranger to political manipulation attempts, the social side faces China, which uses propaganda propaganda to silence the political opposition. If the ads continue to run, there is a risk that they will be alienated from Hong Kong and the freedom of speech advocates. At the same time, blocking ads from a government-sponsored home release could provoke a harsh reaction with unpredictable consequences.
I go out every day looking at things with my own eyes and then posting them on Twitter and seeing sponsored tweets that say the opposite of what I've seen. Twitter takes money from Chinese propaganda outfits and uses these advertised tweets against major Hong Kong protest hashtags pic.twitter.com/6Wb0Km6GOb
̵1; Pinboard (@Pinboard)