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China Bans ‘Winnie the Pooh’ | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Screengrab from The Daily Telegraph of the Winnie the Pooh illustration and a Reuters photograph of Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama in 2013. (Reuters)

London – Chinese authorities have banned social media users from using the “Winnie the Pooh” character to criticize President Xi Jinping.

Censure bodies in China have intensified their oppression by banning people from criticizing the president, as the ruling Communist Party Congress is expected to renew his term in its upcoming meeting.

Since 2013, social media users have often used the famous animated bear to express political criticism against the president.

People are still able to share Winnie the Pooh’s picture on the Chinese version of Twitter “Weibo”, but without writing any comment. An “inappropriate content” warning is displayed each time people tried to comment on a post.

On the widely used “WeChat” service, the character’s pictures were omitted, however, users have been able to post old ones from their archives.

Created by British author A.A. Milne in the 1920s, Winnie the Pooh has since become famous worldwide after the books were adapted into a cartoon franchise by the Disney company.