Over the weekend, a certain plump bear with a weakness for honey appeared to run afoul of Chinese censors. However, we are now happy to report that relations seem to have returned to normal between Beijing and the Hundred Acre Forest.
The Financial Times reported on Sunday that searches for “Winnie the Pooh” on Weibo returned only error messages of this “content is illegal,” while on WeChat a collection of animated gifs featuring the beloved AA Milne character had been removed.
When we tried typing “The Bear Who Shall Not Be Named” into Weibo yesterday, we turned up multiple references and pictures posted in recent days. However, we were not able to write the bear’s Chinese name into comments on Weibo posts.
But, we tried again today and it worked fine. So, go wild, everyone!
There has been no official explanation of the brief ban from the Chinese government; however, it most likely has something to do with the adorable, if slow-witted, bear’s likeness to Chinese President Xi Jinping, which netizens first noticed when Xi visited Barack Obama in 2013:
And then when he shook hands with Shinzo Abe in 2014:
Meanwhile, it appears as though China’s Net Nanny may already have taken revenge against the Financial Times for breaking news about the Pooh ban with the FT’s Chinese site now blocked by the Great Firewall.
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