Winnie the Pooh, a character belonging to Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS), is no longer allowed on Chinese social media sites due to memes.
The ban on Winnie the Pooh in China comes after a series of memes that compare the character to President Xi Jinping. These memes have been around for years and the Chinese government is using censorship in an attempt to stop their spread.
The ban on Winnie the Pooh include his Chinese name, “Little Bear Winnie”, being banned on social media website Weibo. The official stickers of the character in WeChat have also been removed. Despite these bans, users are still able to post images of the character on social media.
“It’s very murky what’s allowed and what isn’t because officials never put out statements describing precisely what will be censored,” Qiao Mu, an independent media studies scholar, told New York Post about the Winnie the Pooh ban in China.
This isn’t actually the first time that China has banned Winnie the Pooh from social media. The censorship originally started back in 2013 when an image of Xi and former President Barack Obama was compared to one of Pooh and Tigger.
The recent stroke of censorship in China comes as the country prepares for the 19th Communist Party Congress. This event will take place in the Fall and China is likely hoping to protect Xi’s image leading up to the conference. Funnily enough, the ban is now bringing more attention to the memes as various news publications report on it, reports MarketWatch.
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As of this writing, William White did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.