'Winnie The Pooh' banned in China for illegal memes?

Winnie the Pooh just got blacklisted by China

A year later, a collage of Mr Xi standing through the roof of a parade vehicle paired with an image of a Winnie the Pooh toy auto was branded "China's most censored photo" of 2015. Some mentions of the lovable but dimwitted bear with a weakness for "hunny" have been blocked on Chinese social networks.

Despite no official words out yet, the reason is zeroed on the comparison between Winnie the Pooh with the Chinese President, Xi Jinping in viral memes shared on social media platform Sina Weibo and instant messaging app WeChat. However, comments referencing to "Little Bear Weini" (Pooh's Chinese name) has turned up with error messages saying the content is illegal.

In 2013, a similar ban on the children's character was imposed after a photograph of President Xi and former US President Barack Obama was compared to an image of Pooh and his friend Tigger.

In 2014, the comparison extended to Xi's meeting with Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe, who was pictured as sad donkey Eeyore alongside Winnie the Pooh.

And in 2015, the political analysis portal Global Risk Insights called a picture of Xi standing up through the roof of a parade vehicle paired with an image of a Winnie the Pooh toy auto China's most censored photo of the year.

Observers have noted a pickup in online censorship ahead of the 19th Communist Party Congress this fall, where major political appointments will be announced. But, some previously cited how Winnie the Pooh has been used as a meme and being compared to Chinese President Xi Jinping.

"The Chinese name for and images of the plump, cute cartoon character are being blocked on social media sites here because bloggers have been comparing him to China's president", the website explained.

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