China bans Winnie the Pooh

China bans Winnie the Pooh

Another popular image mocked on social media was that of Xi walking with former U.S. President Barack Obama, alongside a picture of Winnie the Pooh walking next to Tigger.

Therefore, all such memes on social networking site Sina Weibo and instant messaging app WeChat were deleted.

He noted that internet users in the mainland have been detained in the past over posts that comments about the president.

The bear's crime is that, in Chinese eyes, he has a striking resemblance to President Xi. Apart from flashing error messages, Winnie the Pooh stickers have also been removed from WeChat's official sticker gallery.

"I think the Winnie issue is part of this trend", he added.

"Historically, two things have been not allowed: political organizing and political action", Qiao Mu, assistant professor of media at Beijing Foreign Studies University, told the Financial Times.

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China bans Winnie the Pooh

A year later, the comparison was extended to Xi's meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, where the latter was likened to Eeyore, the sad donkey, while Xi was once again compared to the bear.

It was named "most censored image of 2015" by Global Risk Insights, a political consultancy.

The image was from September that year that showed Xi inspecting his troops with his head sticking out of the roof of a car.

Little trouble in big China this week, as Winnie-the-Pooh has been suppressed by the politburo.

Hackers who attacked the site and stole 33m people's details including names, addresses, dates of birth and sexual preferences dumped the cache of stolen data online, exposing millions of users. Though it will not likely change Xi's status as the top leader of the party, changes in the other positions could act as a bellwether indicating Xi's status as top leader for years to come.