Hong Kong Asian

A woman holds a protest sign at a pro-democracy protest on Nathan Road, a major route through the heart of the Kowloon district of Hong Kong.Alex Ogle | AFP | Getty Images

A woman holds a protest sign at a pro-democracy protest on Nathan Road, a major route through the heart of the Kowloon district of Hong Kong.

Thousands of protesters campaigned for full democracy in Hong Kong over the weekend, raising the question: Could unrest spread to mainland China.

"Today is a very important moment for Beijing and for the Hong Kong government because if they don't control the streets of Hong Kong today they could see this thing start to mushroom, " Gordon Chang, author of 'The Coming Collapse of China' told CNBC on Monday.

"Beijing has a lot at stake here as this is something that could spread…political scientists call it the 'demonstration effect, '" he said. "We're starting to see that now in China."

Read MoreHere's how the protests will hit Hong Kong's economy

Netizens across China shared images from the protests and expressed their views via social media, but authorities quickly deleted posts and shut down websites, in line with China's history of censorship.

Popular photo sharing website Instagram was blocked after photos and videos from the Hong Kong protests were posted, according to numerous reports. Meanwhile, the phrase "Occupy Central" was blocked on Weibo – the hugely popular micro-blogging site in China – on Sunday.

Signs of spreading?

Ripples of discontent have begun to show in Taiwan and Macau.

In Taiwan, a state that is essentially autonomous, student leaders occupied the lobby of Hong Kong's representative office on Monday in a show of support for democracy protesters, according to local media.

Meanwhile, in Macau – another "special administrative region" like Hong Kong, a referendum conducted last month during the official election of its chief executive, showed a striking disparity between the election result and public opinion.

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