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China censors Winnie the Pooh on social media

17 Julio 2017
China censors Winnie the Pooh on social media

In addition to deleting posts, GIFs and stickers containing the star of A. A. Milne's books have been removed from the WECHAT messaging network, which has over 889 million users within the country.

In 2014 social media users poked fun at the Chinese president's awkward handshake with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with an image of Winnie the Pooh shaking hands with Eeyore.

Meanwhile, it's not clear how widespread this ban is.

Image of Pooh in a car next to Xi in his limo has also been banned.

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

What could be more innocent than a talking stuffed bear?

Qiao Mu, assistant professor of media at Beijing Foreign Studies University told the Financial Times that "the Winnie issue is part of a trend".

It was in 2013 that the slow-witted, good-natured bear became a target for China's online censors for the first time.

Winnie the Pooh is one of the most famous children's character in the world but in China, the character can no longer be found on social media platforms. It was soon taken down by censors. As did images of Winnie popping his head out of his car - after the president popped his head similarly through the roof of his limousine during an inspection of troops. A photo of the taller and thinner Obama walking with Xi was combined with a picture of Winnie the Pooh and his tall and thin friend Tigger and the comparison stayed.

"In order to stay on he will believe that he needs to ensure there are no cracks in the absolute loyalty he demands", China Blog explained.

Jeremy Luedi, an analyst with Global Risk Insights described China's reaction to the memes as "disproportionate and puzzling".