Home / Entertainment / Loveable bear Winnie the Pooh have been banned in China – and even locals are baffled by decision

Loveable bear Winnie the Pooh have been banned in China – and even locals are baffled by decision

Mentions of the cartoon bear online have been deleted – and some believe it is because he has been compared to president

Pictures of Winnie the Pooh have been banned on Chinese social media in a clamp down on politically-sensitive references to the lovable little bear.

Authorities have deleted online comments referencing ‘Little Bear Winnie’ – Pooh’s Chinese name – leaving users with error messages telling them, “This content is illegal’.

 

Stickers and GIFs featuring the bear, the most famous resident of the Hundred Acre Wood, have also been removed from WeChat – a messaging app used by 889 million people in the country.

Some pictures of the AA Milne character and references using his English name are still permitted on the popular Twitter -like platform Weibo.

No explanation for the ban has been given by officials, but the bear ‘of very little brain’ has been compared to Chinese President Xi Jinping in the past and the crackdown comes in the run-up to China’s 19th Communist Party Congress.

Chinese social media users have been testing the boundaries imposed on AA Milne’s lovable creation.

“Poor Little Winnie,” one Weibo user wrote. “What did this adorable honey-loving bear ever do to provoke anyone?”

China’s President Xi Jinping has been compared to Winnie in the past (Image: AFP/Getty)

In 2013, a similar ban was imposed in response to a popular comparison of a photo of President Xi and then-US President Barack Obama with Pooh and his friend Tigger.

The following year a photographed handshake between President Xi and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe faced similar treatment with Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore shaking hands.

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The National Congress event is being held in autumn and will see elections for the most senior positions in China’s ruling Communist Party and Politburo, its main policy-making committee.

The first collection of stories about the character was the book Winnie-the-Pooh (1926), and this was followed by The House at Pooh Corner (1928).

Milne named the character Winnie-the-Pooh after a teddy bear owned by his son, Christopher Robin Milne, who was the basis for the character Christopher Robin.