Internet users in China are being prevented from posting about the beloved children’s book character Winnie the Pooh, according to a Financial Times report.
Winnie the Pooh’s name in Chinese is being censored on various Chinese social media platforms. Social media users speculate that the censorship is due to popular images that circulated on Chinese social media comparing President Xi Jinping to Pooh.
The comparisons began with a 2013 photo of a stroll then President Barack Obama took with the Chinese president.
Di Cina tokoh kartun Winnie The Pooh di sensor karena mirip presiden Xi Jinping. pic.twitter.com/vpmGvTuQ63— Lihat Foto (@LihatFoto) October 22, 2014
Another image featured Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, portrayed as Eeyore shaking hands with Jinping.
Global Risk Insights noted this trend of the Chinese authorities clamping down on unflattering portrayals of Jinping. They called this picture, comparing a Pooh car toy to a picture of Jinping in a car during a parade, the “most censored image of 2015.”
The New York Times noted the reaction of Chinese internet users who tested the ban, as it was still possible to post about the silly old bear on some social media sites.
“He’s so cute, who could he have offended?” wrote one user of Weibo, a Chinese Twitterlike site.
“Winnie-the-Pooh is also banned?” another asked. “Should everything related to Winnie-the-Pooh in Shanghai Disneyland be removed too?”