Published: Mon, July 17, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

China bans Winnie-the-Pooh

China bans Winnie-the-Pooh

Winnie the Pooh, the famous animated character, was recently blocked on China's social networks, where the stuffed bear has been compared in the past to the country's president, Xi Jinping, AFP informs. The worldwide newspaper cites observers who say the crackdown might be over previous comparisons of President Xi Jinping and the cartoon bear.

It appears that Xi Jinping has failed to see the humor in these comparisons.

While authorities have not explained the recent clampdown, observers believe the long-standing joke could be the reason for Winnie the Pooh being blocked once again in China.

In 2014, a photograph of President Xi shaking hands with the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, was compared with an image of Pooh Bear shaking the hoof of his gloomy donkey friend Eeyore.

Comparisons between Xi and Disney -owned Winnie the Pooh first circulated in 2013 during the Chinese leader's visit with then U.S. President Barack Obama.

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Later, a photo of Xi poking 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.

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.

In other contexts, references to the staple Chinese breakfast food "baozi" have been taken down for evoking the president's nickname: "Steamed Bun Xi", Qiao says.

"Poor Little Winnie", one Weibo user wrote. Nevertheless, user-generated GIFs of the slow-witted bear with a weakness for honey are still available in the popular messaging app.

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