Yang Jianli was refused entry into Hong Kong when he arrived on a flight from the United States via Taiwan, public broadcaster RTHK reported late Friday.
Yang was scheduled to attend a two-day academic forum in the former British colony, which returned to Chinese rule in 1997 with its own political and legal system, according to RTHK.
An immigration department spokesman declined to confirm Yang's deportation, saying it would not comment on individual cases.
US permanent resident Yang spent five years in jail in China on charges of spying and illegal entry in a case which sparked criticism from the United States and the United Nations. He was released in 2007.
The activist fled China following the 1989 Tiananmen democracy protests and was blacklisted by the government, which refused to renew his passport or issue him travel documents to return to his homeland.
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