In the past, China’s censorship has seemed extreme but this time they are taking it to a whole new level, as they now go after a cartoon bear…
Users of the popular Chinese messaging app WeChat and other social media sources have discovered that Winnie the Pooh has disappeared in China. There are no images or mention of him at all.
Not only is Pooh Bear missing, so are Piglet, Tigger, and Eeyore. They were all removed from WeChat’s “sticker” site and all gifs have been removed as well.
There has been no official explanation as to why Pooh and his friends have disappeared, but is assumed that it is because of a popular meme of Chinese President Xi Jinping when he met with then U.S. President Barack Obama. The photo was taken way back in 2013 in California as the two walk together appearing buddy-buddy.
— Financial Times (@FT) July 17, 2017
Another popular meme was of President Xi shaking hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe when they met in 2014. The meme compares the two to Pooh and Eeyore, the depressed donkey.
— Josh Chin 李肇华 (@joshchin) November 10, 2014
Pooh is also censored on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter. Search results for the name “Winnie the Pooh” and” Wei Nixiong” (the Chinese name for Pooh) do not come up blank but there is no existence to to the Xi-Pooh comparison.
Any news reports in China about the disappearance of Winnie the Pooh have also been censored by the government, but they have been passed around Chinese social media.
In the past few days China has been heavy on the censorship, including the death of Liu Xiaobo. Not only was Xiaobo a Chinese humans rights activist, he also won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.
It seems like many people in China see this new censorship of the bear as extreme and pointless. One Chinese college student shared, “To ban Winnie because someone has compared him to Xi? What the heck, give Pooh and President Xi a break!”
The censoring of Winnie the Pooh was just absurd, who knows what China is gonna censor next.
[via NBC News]