China bans Winnie-the-Pooh

Frederick Owens
July 17, 2017

While no official explanation of this purge has yet been offered, it likely has something to do with memes in the past that have compared Chinese President Xi Jinping to the adorable, if slow-witted, bear.

According to the Financial Times, searches on Chinese social network Sina Weibo for "Little Bear Winnie" - which is the name given to Pooh Bear in China - resulted in an error message reading "content is illegal".

Posts containing the phrase "Winnie-the-Pooh" on Weibo, China's version of Twitter, were culled. "Winnie the Pooh"- the favourite cartoon show among child was a part of several GIFs and memes on social networking site which drew parallels between the little beer and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

"Historically, two things have been not allowed: political organizing and political action".

In 2013, a similar ban was imposed in response to a popular comparison of a photo of President Xi and then-US President Barack Obama with Pooh and his friend Tigger.

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Earlier, some social media users compared the meeting between Chinese premiere and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was pictured as Eeyore, the sad donkey, alongside Pooh bear.

The image was from September that year that showed Xi inspecting his troops with his head sticking out of the roof of a vehicle.

A photo of Xi standing up through the roof of a parade vehicle, next to a picture of Winnie the Pooh in a toy auto, was named the "most censored image of 2015" by political consultancy Global Risk Insights.

"Firstly where some see harmless fun, Beijing sees a serious effort to undermine the dignity of the presidential office and Xi himself", Australia's cited him as saying.

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