Beijing: The world-beloved honey-loving teddy bear has been nearly banished from China’s cyberspace, and the reason for doing so is equally bizarre.
The online ban on Winnie the Pooh came to light especially after the Financial Times covered the topic in a front page story Monday, reports CNN.
The newspaper printed a picture showing the bear strolling with his tiger friend Tigger next to a photo of Chinese President Xi Jinping walking with his then-US counterpart Barack Obama in 2013.
After the image appeared online, Chinese netizens began posting photos of Jinping in similar poses by putting pictures side by side.
Out of the many creative pictures, one depicted a frosty handshake between Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe along with Pooh and his donkey friend Eeyore.
The pictures were clearly meant to be swallowed with a pinch of humour, but the mirth was lost on the government. Some internet users have pointed out a recent photo as a possible trigger for the latest restrictions. In the picture, Nobel Peace Prize-winning Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo and his wife each held a Pooh mug.
China is already infamous for having one of the world’s most restrictive internet filtering and censorship systems- the Great Firewall of China.