China bans Winnie the Pooh from social media
Posted by Associated Press on 17th July 2017

This post was originally published on WBALTV NEWS

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Winnie the Pooh has been “blacklisted” by internet censors in China after memes comparing the self-confessed “bear of very little brain” to President Xi Jinping circulated online again. The comparison is a longstanding joke in China.

Authorities have deleted online posts likening “Little Bear Winnie” (Pooh’s Chinese name) to the president, leaving social media users with error messages telling them “this content is illegal.”


GIFs and stickers featuring Pooh have also been removed from WeChat, a messaging app used by 889 million people in the country.

Various virtual private networks (VPNs), which can be used to access prohibited sites, have been banned as well.

Comparisons between Xi and Pooh first emerged in 2013, when pictures of Pooh and Tigger were shared online alongside an image of Xi walking with former POTUS Barack Obama.

The following year a photograph of President Xi shaking hands with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was likened to Pooh and his gloomy donkey friend Eeyore.

The ruling Communist Party is highly sensitive to mocking depictions of its leader, and the crackdown comes in the run up to China’s 19th Communist Party Congress.

That hasn’t stopped Chinese social media users from mocking the new censorship and restrictions imposed, with one Weibo user writing: “Poor little Winnie. What did this adorable honey-loving bear ever do to provoke anyone?”