V For Vendetta shown in China

V For Vendetta has been broadcast in China - despite the plot revolving around a totalitarian government.

The film, which didn't air on the big-screen when it was released, was shown on TV, raising hopes that the country is loosening censorship.

Television audiences across China watched an anarchist anti-hero rebel against a totalitarian government and persuade the people to rule themselves.

Soon the internet was crackling with quotes from V For Vendetta's famous line: "People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people."

The 2005 movie, based on a comic book, is set in an imagined future Britain with a fascist government. The protagonist wears a mask of Guy Fawkes, the 17th-century rebel who tried to blow up Parliament.

The mask has become a revolutionary symbol for young protesters in mostly Western countries, and it also has a cult-like status in China as pirated DVDs are widely available. Some people have used the image of the mask as their profile pictures on Chinese social media sites.

Beijing-based rights activist Hu Jia wrote on Twitter, which is not accessible to most Chinese because of government Internet controls: "This great film couldn't be any more appropriate for our current situation.

"Dictators, prisons, secret police, media control, riots, getting rid of 'heretics'... fear, evasion, challenging lies, overcoming fear, resistance, overthrowing tyranny ... China's dictators and its citizens also have this relationship."