Claim: Winnie the Pooh is banned in China because too many people were mockingly comparing him to Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Origin: Many memes were generated over the years comparing Chinese President Xi Jinping to Winnie the Pooh. The earliest recorded instance of this was likely a picture depicting Winnie the Pooh walking beside Tigger, drawing an analogy to Xi Jinping walking beside US President Obama during an informal cybersecurity meeting in California on June 9th, 2013. The ban reportedly targetted the social media platform ‘Weibo’ and began censoring posts in July of 2017.
- Search Results for Winnie the Pooh were suspended for a brief period of time during the initial surge in July 2017.
- Things are blocked and unblocked in realtime in China often based on automated rules.
- As well, the search results suspension was only targeted on one social media platform in China called Weibo
- Winnie the Pooh is very popular in China and available everywhere. Pooh related images are easily found on Chinese search engines like Baidu, Sogu, etc. This is trivially verifiable simply by going to www.baidu.com and searching for “Winnie the Pooh”. Example 1 Example 2 Example 3
- In addition, media featuring Winnie the Pooh is available for streaming on many of the most popular streaming platforms in China. Example 1 Example 2 Example 3
- Winnie the Pooh toys and videos are sold everywhere in China Example on Taobao
- Shanghai Disneyland has a Winnie the Pooh Ride. Source 1 Source 2
- There are also rumours that the film “Christopher Robin” which features Winnie the Pooh was also banned for this reason. China only approves the import of a limited number of foreign movies and that movie just didn’t make the cut independent of the fake news around Winnie the Pooh.