China Has Banned Winnie the Pooh Once Again

Vincent Carr
July 17, 2017

Posts comparing Chinese president Xi Jinping to the cartoon bear - a longstanding joke in China - were also taken down.

Attempts to post the Chinese characters for Winnie's name on Weibo over the weekend reportedly turned up error messages saying the request could not be processed because the "content is illegal".

Winnie the Pooh has been censored from Chinese social media after unflattering memes compared the honey-loving bear to the country's President Xi Jinping.

At the same time, gifs featuring Pooh also disappeared from WeChat, a messaging app in China.

The Communist Party Congress this Autumn will be seen as a test of his grip on power, after he made many enemies in a widespread corruption crackdown.

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Despite interest from Chinese Super League club, Tianjin Quanjian which surfaced during the January transfer window; an offer made reportedly.

"I think the Winnie issue is part of this trend", he added.

The memes first surfaced in 2013 during Mr Xi's visit with then-US president Barack Obama, when an image of Winnie the Pooh walking with friend Tigger was set alongside a picture of the two heads of state together.

The Chinese government is famous for censoring particular words around the time of big political events.

In 2014, the comparison extended to Xi's meeting with Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe, who was pictured as sad donkey Eeyore alongside Winnie the Pooh. In 2015, according to Global Risk Insights, an image of President Xi standing up through a vehicle roof during a parade and a children's toy auto was the most censored image of the year, prompting the Chinese government to add "Winnie the Pooh" to its internet search blacklist.

Correction: This story has been edited to reflect the fact that some images of Winne the Pooh are still searchable on Chinese social media.

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