Winnie the Pooh, the famous animated character, was recently blocked on China’s social networks, where the stuffed bear has been compared in the past to the country’s president, Xi Jinping, AFP informs.
On Monday morning, publishing the image of the famously animated bear was still possible on the Weibo social network – the Chinese equivalent of Twitter – along with the words “Weini xiao Xiong” (“Winnie the bear” in Chinese).
But any comment associated with this character was blocked, with an error message that warns Chinese Internet users about “this content is illegal”.
The popular Instant Messaging service WeChat, widely used in China, has suppressed Winnie’s image from his emoticons gallery, but users can still distribute their own animated images of this famous character created in the UK in the 1920’s.
In the context of the Chinese Communist Party’s five-party congress, during which President Xi Jinping has all chances to get a new mandate in the country’s leadership, Beijing censors have become very vigilant when they need to protect the image of their state leader.
The first comparison between the chubby bear and the leader of the world’s second economic power arose in 2013 after the internet was invaded by an image of Xi Jinping and former US President Barack Obama over a drawing that portrayed Winnie the Pooh in the company of his friend Tigger.
The following year, the ironic interludes resumed the joke by publishing a photo of Chinese President and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, compared to an image in which Winnie the Pooh gathered a hoof of Eeyore, the little ass from the same cartoon.