Images of the seemingly cuddly and innocuous Winnie the Pooh have been blocked over the weekend on China’s Twitter-like platform Weibo, its messaging app WeChat, and even the ancient messaging tool QQ, as the lead-up to the major communist powwow in Beijing intensities. “Winnie the Pooh“- the favourite cartoon show among child was a part of several GIFs and memes on social networking site which drew parallels between the little beer and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
One of the things that have become too politically sensitive for Chinese social media lately is the fictional character of Winnie the Pooh.
The censorship comes ahead of the country’s Communist party congress this autumn and while.
“Historically, two things have been not allowed: political organising and political action”.
Comparisons between Xi and Disney -owned Winnie the Pooh first circulated in 2013 during the Chinese leader’s visit with then U.S. President Barack Obama.
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 what was described as the “most censored image of 2015” by political consultancy Global Risk Insights showed another comparison, this time featuring Winnie in a toy vehicle.
Recently, China’s censors scrubbed any mention of RIP messages, candle emojis, and other tributes to Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo on social media networks as they seek to silence discussion about the rebel’s death.