'Winnie The Pooh' has been blacklisted by the Chinese government

'Winnie The Pooh' has been blacklisted by the Chinese government

Images of the bear were also deleted from Weibo and Wechat, a popular Chinese messaging app. Articles about the censorship circulated on Wechat, mentioning rumours that Winnie-the-Pooh programmes were also set to be banned.

Ahead of the country's Communist party congress this autumn, posts featuring the beloved children's book character were censored on the Chinese social network Sina Weibo.

These memes, illustrations and GIFs comparing the China President to slow-witted, good-natured bear are slowly wiped off the internet.

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". Though it will not likely change Xi's status as the top leader of the party, changes in the other positions could act as a bellwether indicating Xi's status as top leader for years to come.

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.

To many, an image of the Xi walking beside U.S. President Barack Obama bore a resemblance to an image of Winne the Pooh walking beside Tigger.

One of the things that have become too politically sensitive for Chinese social media lately is the fictional character of Winnie the Pooh. In 2015, according to Global Risk Insights, an image of President Xi standing up through a auto roof during a parade and a children's toy vehicle was the most censored image of the year, prompting the Chinese government to add "Winnie the Pooh" to its internet search blacklist.

Apart from the onset of Pooh Bear comparisons with President Xi in 2013, the jokes continued the following year. "What did this adorable honey-loving bear ever do to provoke anyone?"



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