China bans Winnie-the-Pooh

China bans Winnie-the-Pooh

The ban also comes before China's 19th Communist Party Congress.

There has been no official explanation provided by the Chinese government, but the FT cited observers as saying that the banishing of the children's book character has to do with previous mocking comparisons made online between China's rotund President Xi Jinping and the chubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff.

Posts bearing the image and the Chinese characters for Winnie the Pooh were still permitted on the Twitter-like Weibo platform Monday.

The first light-hearted comparison between Xi and Pooh reportedly first surfaced in 2013 when Obama met with the Chinese leader, and netizens compared the former to Pooh's lanky friend Tigger.

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

Currently, attempts to write "Winnie the Pooh" in China's famous social network Weibo end up with a pop-up warning "illegal content".

Winnie the Pooh stickers have also been removed from WeChat's official "sticker gallery", but user-generated GIFs of the bear are still available on the popular messaging app.

It is a particularly sensitive year as Xi is expected to consolidate power at a key party congress this fall.

The following year a photographed handshake between President Xi and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe faced similar treatment. Chinese social media is rich with euphemisms and jokes used to evade the censors.

In 2015, a photo of Xi standing through the roof of a parade auto was pictured next to a photo of Winnie the Pooh in a toy vehicle, before it quickly became the most censored image of 2015.

Winnie-the-Pooh, the adorable teddy bear, created by English author AA Milne has fallen out of love from the internet in China.