Cheung Ka Long's victory in the men's foil fencing at Tokyo 2020 marked Hong Kong's first ever Olympic gold medal in the discipline ©Getty Images

A Hong Kong photographer is likely to face jail after being convicted of insulting the Chinese national anthem, by editing a video of fencer Cheung Ka Long’s Olympic medal ceremony.

Cheung Ka Long won individual men’s foil gold at Tokyo 2020, however on a video of his medal ceremony posted on YouTube the defendant Cheng Wing-chun, 27, replaced the national anthem of China with the protest song Glory To Hong Kong.

At a hearing today, magistrate Winnie Wat Lai-man found Wing-chun guilty of insulting the Chinese national anthem and a second charge of desecrating the regional flag, as reported by the Hong Kong Standard.

Delivering her verdict, Lai-man said that Wing-chun replaced only the anthem itself with the protest song and did not edit the clapping or any other atmosphere.

She said she believed that Wing-chun’s edits specifically targeted the national anthem and were a deliberate act.

Lai-man also highlighted a witness testimony that the video was initially available to all users, before being changed by Wing-chun into a private video that could only be viewed through accessing a specific link.

Wing-chun’s defence claimed he only muted the anthem and did not change the lyrics into foul language.

Cheng Wing-chun is likely to face jail after editing footage of Cheung Ka Long's medal ceremony from Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images
Cheng Wing-chun is likely to face jail after editing footage of Cheung Ka Long's medal ceremony from Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

Lai-man concluded that Wing-chun "knowingly damaged the symbol and dignity of the national anthem" and warned him that his penalty was "very likely" to be a prison sentence.

The case has been adjourned until July 20, when Wing-chun, the first person to be convicted of this offence, is due to be sentenced.

Cheung Ka Long’s victory at Tokyo 2020 marked Hong Kong’s first ever Olympic fencing gold medal, and came after he beat Rio 2016 Olympic champion Daniele Garozzo of Italy 15-11.

Last year, female journalist Paula Leung was jailed for three months waving a colonial-era Hong Kong flag when celebrating Cheung Ka Long’s fencing gold.

In November 2022, the Chinese national anthem was twice incorrectly titled as Glory to Hong Kong during a broadcast of Hong Kong's 2023 Rugby World Cup qualifier against Portugal in Dubai.

World Rugby subsequently apologised for what it called "an error of the graphics operator."

Similar incidents were reported at an Asia Rugby Men’s Sevens Series tournament in South Korea and a Rugby World Cup qualifier in July 2022 between Hong Kong and Tonga.

The pro-democracy protest song was banned in 2020 after China imposed national security laws that punished what the country's Government defined as secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.

The song was composed in 2019 and is designed to promote Hong Kong’s independence.