Pavel Durov, CEO of encrypted messaging app Telegram, blamed China for a cyberattack which interrupted operations during protests in Hong Kong.

Telegram warned users in a Twitter post it experienced a “powerful” distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on Wednesday (12 May) during which servers were flooded with false requests. Global connections were affected.

In a follow-up, Durov attributed the attack to IP addresses “mostly from China”.

He said it was consistent with state-level DDoS attempts conducted during previous demonstrations in Hong Kong: “This case was not an exception.”

Bloomberg reported demonstrators turned to Telegram and other encrypted services to coordinate marches and maintain anonymity.

While the attack temporarily interrupted Telegram’s service, the company reassured users their data was safe.