Members of the hacking collective Anonymous are protesting the closure of Ningbo Yuhan Plastics, a Chinese company that specializes in costume masks. The company is the world’s largest producer of Guy Fawkes masks.
The company’s profits spiked in 2006 following the release of the film “V for Vendetta,” but they have fallen in recent years. Some say the closure is due in part to retaliation by officials for the company’s alleged role in providing disgraced politician Bo Xilai’s children with thousands of free Ironman and Batman masks.
On Thursday, close to a hundred Anonymous protestors gathered outside the Chinese embassy in London, holding signs like “end corruption in the Chinese Guy Fawkes masks industry” and “don’t make us wear Scooby-Doo masks.”
Several Chinese government websites were shut down due to denial-of-service attacks on servers. Anonymous took credit for those, as well as for hacking Baike Baidu, the collaborative online encyclopedia, replacing the image of Chinese commerce minister Gao Hucheng with a pretty goat.