Winnie the Pooh just got blacklisted by China

Winnie the Pooh just got blacklisted by China

Winnie the Pooh just got blacklisted by China

Chinese officials gave no official explanation, but observers suggest it might have something to do with past comparisons of President Xi Jinping with the chubby bear created by the English author AA Milne that went viral.

Over the weekend, Chinese censors blocked users of WeChat and Weibo, China's bigger-than-Twitter microblogging platform, from using the name of the most famous resident of the Hundred Acre Wood in the comment section of posts.

Even animated GIFs featuring the bear were reportedly removed from the social messaging app WeChat.

Winnie the Pooh has been censored on Chinese social media.

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The National Congress event is being held in autumn and will see elections for the most senior positions in China's ruling Communist Party and Politburo, its main policy-making committee. But this year a third has been added to the list: "talking about the president", said Qiao Mu, Assistant Professor of Media at Beijing Foreign Studies University.

Searches for the "Little Bear Winnie" - as Pooh is called in China - returned the error message "content is illegal".

Comparisons between Xi and Disney-owned Winnie the Pooh first circulated in 2013 during the Chinese leader s visit with then U.S. President Barack Obama.

A year later, the comparison was extended to Xi's meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, where the latter was likened to Eeyore, the sad donkey, while Xi was once again compared to the bear. "An image of Xi riding through the roof of a parade auto with a picture of Winnie in a little toy vehicle super imposed on top was named the "most censored image of 2015" by political consultancy Global Risk Insights". Chinese social media is rich with euphemisms and jokes used to evade the censors.

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