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  • China's most dangerous bear is Winnie the Pooh.

  • Do you see a resemblance?

  • Welcome back to China Uncensored, I'm Chris Chappell.

  • China bans a lot of things like... a lot.

  • Facebook.

  • Falun Gong.

  • Even, for a time, the letter N.

  • Yeah, that would make the Chinese version of Sesame Street a little awkward.

  • But that's what happens when you live under an authoritarian regime with absolutely no freedom of speech.

  • So is everyone's favorite honey bear banned, too?

  • Sort of, sometimes.

  • It's complicated.

  • It began back in 2013 when Chinese leader Xi Jinping met with US President Barack Obama.

  • Chinese internet users noticed a more-than passing resemblance.

  • The next year, Xi Jinping met with Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, and this image got passed around.

  • And thus a meme was born.

  • Now it may surprise you, but communist leaders don't always have the best sense of humor, which is why Xi Jinping definitely didn't think this was funny.

  • And so Chinese censors began to remove comparisons of Winnie the Pooh and Xi Jinping from the Chinese Internet.

  • And they can actually do that, because China has its own internet.

  • China's technological overlords built what's referred to as "The Great Firewall."

  • It separates China's Internet from the rest of the world.

  • This is not to say that Winnie the Pooh is outright banned.

  • But Winnie the Pooh is sometimes censored or not, depending on how he's used, and depending on the political situation.

  • For example, in 2015, this became the most censored image on the Chinese Internet.

  • In early 2018, Chinese leader Xi Jinping declared himself president for life.

  • And Chinese netizens started posting this.

  • That was also censored.

  • In some ways, it's hard to understand why Xi Jinping wouldn't want to be compared to a loveable cartoon bear.

  • It definitely could be worse.

  • Former leader Jiang Zemin has been compared to a toad and the Minions from Despicable Me.

  • Maybe Xi doesn't like being compared to Pooh bear because it triggers some deep insecurity he has.

  • Like a traumatic childhood memory of being sent to the countryside to do forced labor without any honey.

  • Or a reoccurring nightmare where he's giving a big speech, and he looks down and he's not wearing any pants.

  • But it doesn't matter why Xi Jinping doesn't like Winnie the Pooh.

  • As leader of the un-free world, he has the power to censor those Winnie the Pooh comparisons.

  • And every time Chinese censors block Winnie the Pooh, it makes headlines outside China.

  • I mean, what a story, right?

  • China: The country that banned Winnie the Pooh.

  • Except it's not always true.

  • Like this story that claimed that Winnie the Pooh was about to be removed from Shanghai's Disneyland.

  • But then definitely wasn't.

  • And this story that movie theaters in China were forbidden from showing the movie Christopher Robin, because one of the characters is Winnie the Pooh.

  • But it could have also been blocked because China has a quota of foreign movies it lets in each year, and Christopher Robin simply didn't make the cut.

  • After all, you can still watch Winnie the Pooh cartoons on state-run China Central Television.

  • I mean, how else will the kids learn about Winnie the Pooh Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.

  • So in summary: Winnie the Pooh, not banned in China.

  • Comparing Winnie the Pooh to Chinese leader Xi Jinping?

  • Definitely banned in China.

  • Like in early 2019, when a Taiwanese horror video game called Devotion had this little easter egg.

  • It says: "Xi Jinping Winnie-the-Pooh moron."

  • That got the game banned in China.

  • And then amazingly, Steam banned the game internationally, fearing a Chinese backlash.

  • Sadly, that would not be the last time Western companies decided to censor something so as not to hurt Xi Jinping's sensitive feelings.

  • But the damage is already done.

  • The more Chinese censors ban the comparison, the more Winnie the Pooh is linked in people's minds with Xi Jinping.

  • Remember when Blizzard created a huge backlash after banning a gamer for supporting Hong Kong protests?

  • Well, when Blizzcon rolled around in November, people showed up in Winnie the Pooh costumes.

  • That had nothing to do with Hong Kong, but it was a great way to troll Xi Jinping and Blizzard.

  • And in the South Park episode, Band in China, that came out in October, they showed Winnie the Pooh in Chinese prison.

  • And then South Park joined Pooh in being banned by Chinese censors.

  • But now, with the Hong Kong protests heating up even more, and anger at Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam, there's been a new addition to the Hundred Acre Wood.

  • Poor Piglet.

  • So what do you think about China's Winnie the Pooh sort-of ban?

  • Leave your comments below.

  • Thanks for watching this episode of China Uncensored.

  • Once again, I'm Chris Chappell, see you next time.

China's most dangerous bear is Winnie the Pooh.

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Is Winnie the Pooh Really Banned in China? | China Explained

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