Chinese censors scrub pictures of 'Winnie the Pooh' from social media

Lawrence Kim
July 17, 2017

No explanation for the ban has been given by officials, but the bear has been compared to Chinese President Xi Jinping in the past and the crackdown comes in the run up to China's 19th Communist Party Congress.

Winnie the Pooh stickers have also been removed from WeChat's official "sticker gallery", but user-generated gifs of the bear are still available on the popular messaging app.

Winnie The Pooh has been censored online in China after comparisons were made between the cute Disney bear and President Xi Jinping, it has been reported.

It is not known for certain that the memes are the reason behind the censorship, but it is suggested by the FT.

But comments referencing "Little Bear Winnie" - Pooh's Chinese name - turned up error messages saying the user could not proceed because "this content is illegal".

The yellow and red bear who loves jars of honey has apparently been "blacklisted" by internet censors in the country following the memes comparing him to the President.

Posts containing the phrase "Winnie-the-Pooh" on Weibo, China's version of Twitter, were culled. Now the strict censorship in China does make us feel fortunate for living in India, where the recent viral meme of Narendra Modi's lookalike with the Snapchat only gave them a FIR.

The following year, the comparison was extended to Xi's meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was pictured as Eeyore, the sad donkey, alongside the bear.

And in 2015, the political analysis portal Global Risk Insights called a picture of Xi standing up through the roof of a parade vehicle paired with an image of a Winnie the Pooh toy auto "China's most censored photo" of the year.

The bear's crime is that, in Chinese eyes, he has a striking resemblance to President Xi.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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