Chinese censors ban Winnie the Pooh because of comparisons to President Xi



Did Winnie the Pooh steal China's honey?

China is blocking all mentions of the popular fictional character on social media sites — which may seem strange to those in the West who view the friendly, honey-loving bear as being totally harmless.

According to BBC News, the Chinese government is blocking the use of the iconic character to nip any comparisons to China president Xi Jinping in the bud.

Users of the popular messaging app WeChat and on other social media sites discovered this over the weekend after realizing that gif images of Pooh and even his friends were removed. Users of the Twitter-like service Weibo also found that while the Chinese name for Pooh was still searchable, images that used to come up no longer did.

Obviously not every instance of Winnie the Pooh online would have to do with President Xi, but bloggers have been using him to make references to the president.

BBC pointed out some examples from over the last few years. In one, Xi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are compared to Pooh and Eeyore after what the internet saw as a disastrous attempt to shake hands in 2014. In another, President Barack Obama is compared to Tigger walking alongside Pooh.

The government is trying to stop ridicule of its leader and is also trying to stop Pooh from becoming a go-to symbol for anything beyond a chubby, iconic children's character.

This is done by blocking the Chinese name for Pooh and any images of him.

There's a history of people comparing Chinese government officials to characters or animals. Former President Jiang Zemin, for example, tends to be juxtaposed with pictures of frogs.

RELATED: President Xi and Angela Merkel visit pandas

14 PHOTOS
Chinese President Xi Jinping and German Chancellor Angela Merkel visit pandas
See Gallery
Chinese President Xi Jinping and German Chancellor Angela Merkel visit pandas
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend a welcome ceremony for Chinese panda bears Meng Meng and Jiao Qing at the Zoo in Berlin, Germany July 5, 2017. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt
Jiao Qing, a Chinese male panda bear, is seen as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping visit its compound during a welcome ceremony at the Zoo in Berlin, Germany July 5, 2017. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt
German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a welcome ceremony for Chinese panda bears Meng Meng and Jiao Qing at the Zoo in Berlin, Germany July 5, 2017. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt
Meng Meng, a female Chinese panda bear, is seen as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping visit its compound during a welcome ceremony at the Zoo in Berlin, Germany July 5, 2017. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt
BERLIN, GERMANY - JULY 05: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping officially open the new panda enclosure for viewing at Zoo Berlin on July 5, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. The two pandas, Meng Meng and Jiao Qing, are on loan from China for the next 15 years. (Photo by Michele Tantussi-Pool/Getty Images)
Meng Meng, one of the two giant Chinese panda bears, is seen as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping visit their compound during a welcome ceremony at the Zoo in Berlin, Germany July 5, 2017. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt
Jiao Qing, one of the two giant Chinese panda bears, is seen as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping visit their compound during a welcome ceremony at the Zoo in Berlin, Germany July 5, 2017. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt
Meng Meng, one of the two giant Chinese panda bears, is seen as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping visit their compound during a welcome ceremony at the Zoo in Berlin, Germany July 5, 2017. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend a welcome ceremony for Chinese panda bears Meng Meng and Jiao Qing at the Zoo in Berlin, Germany July 5, 2017. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt
BERLIN, GERMANY - JULY 05: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping officially open the new panda enclosure for viewing at Zoo Berlin on July 5, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. The two pandas, Meng Meng and Jiao Qing, are on loan from China for the next 15 years. (Photo by Michele Tantussi-Pool/Getty Images)
Chinese panda bear Meng Meng is seen in its enclosure during the visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Zoo in Berlin, Germany July 5, 2017. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend a welcome ceremony for Chinese panda bears Meng Meng and Jiao Qing at the Zoo in Berlin, Germany July 5, 2017. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt
Chinese panda bear Meng Meng is seen in its enclosure during the visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Zoo in Berlin, Germany July 5, 2017. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Read original story Chinese Censors Ban Winnie the Pooh Because of Comparisons to President Xi At TheWrap

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.