Search blackout may be linked to clampdown on unflattering meme comparing president Xi Jinping with AA Milne character.
Has Winnie the Pooh done something to anger China’s censors?
Some mentions of AA Milne’s loveable but slow-witted bear with a weakness for honey have been blocked on Chinese social networks.
Authorities did not explain the clampdown, but the self-described “bear of very little brain” has been used in past memes comparing him to the Chinese president, Xi Jinping.
Posts bearing the image and the Chinese characters for Winnie the Pooh were still permitted on the Weibo social media platform on Monday. But comments referencing “Little Bear Winnie” – Pooh’s Chinese name – turned up error messages saying the user could not proceed because “this content is illegal”.
Winnie the Pooh stickers have also been removed from WeChat’s official sticker gallery, but user-generated gifs of the bear are still available on the popular messaging app.