Arts&Culture

China bans Winnie-the-Pooh

China bans Winnie-the-Pooh

Has Winnie the Pooh done something to anger China's censors? Some mentions of the lovable but dimwitted bear with a weakness for "hunny" have been blocked on Chinese social networks.

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".

Some pictures of the AA Milne character and references using his English name are still permitted on the popular Twitter-like platform Weibo.

One particular image shared at the time showed Winnie The Pooh walking with his bouncing friend Tigger alongside an image of Xi Jinping walking with former US President Barack Obama following a visit at the time.

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.

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When the striker went to have a second go, more objects were thrown, including a glass Buckfast bottle which went just past his shoulder.

At the same time, gifs featuring Pooh also disappeared from WeChat, a messaging app in China. In 2015 a picture of AA Milne's creation in a roofless auto was widely circulated and compared to one of Mr Xi riding in a vehicle while inspecting troops during a parade in Beijing.

It will be particularly eagle-eyed in the coming months as President Xi attempts to consolidate power ahead of an important twice-a-decade party conference.

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

On Monday many Chinese social media users were testing the boundaries of the restrictions imposed on the bear who groans "oh, bother" when things don't go his way.

Honey-loving resident of the Hundred Acre Wood, Winnie the Pooh, has apparently run afoul of Chinese censors yet again.


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