In the continued crackdown on internet freedom the Chinese regime has banned any mentions of Winnie the Pooh, on the Internet, as per BBC because of comparisons to Chinese President Xi Jinping. GIFs of Winnie the Pooh have been deleted off China’s instant messaging app WeChat and trying to compose a message mentioning the bear will grant you an error message.
Like Xi, Winnie has a round face and nose, and netizens have been taking split-screen pics of the two making similar poses, including one of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shaking hands with Xi looking downtrodden. Abe’s sad eyes and hairstyle even look like Eeyore, too.
Generally in China, people are not allowed to make fun of leaders and that includes the internet as well which faces constant censorship. In response these authoritarian measures, netizens develop hidden messages and slang to circumvent authorities, in addition to investing in VPNs to counter the firewall also called the great digital wall.
Obviously, this leads to comical situations in day to day life and the banning of Winnie is just another one of many.