'Winnie The Pooh' has been blacklisted by the Chinese government

Winnie the Pooh 'blacklisted' by Chinese internet censors after web comparisons to President Xi Jinping

Searches for the "Little Bear Winnie" - as Pooh is called in China - returned the error message "content is illegal".

Winnie The Pooh has reportedly been blacklisted on social media by the Chinese Government.

No explanation for the ban has been given by officials, but the bear has been compared to Chinese President Xi Jinping in the past and the crackdown comes in the run up to China's 19th Communist Party Congress.

No official comments have been made regarding the matter.

Animated gifs of the AA Milne character have been taken off messaging app WeChat, although user-generated images are still available.

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"Historically, two things have been not allowed: political organizing and political action".

However, Global Risk Insights claims the most censored photo of the year in China is one which shows the president standing in a vehicle through the sun roof, compared with a Winnie the Pooh toy where the character is sitting in a convertible.

"I think the Winnie issue is part of this trend", he added. The meme which started on the internet in 2013 after a picture of President Xi with then US Prez, Barack Obama walking side by side was compared to that of the Winnie The Pooh and Tigger, a tiger.

The following year, the ironic interludes resumed the joke by publishing a photo of Chinese President and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, compared to an image in which Winnie the Pooh gathered a hoof of Eeyore, the little ass from the same cartoon.

In 2015 a picture of AA Milne's creation in a roofless vehicle was widely circulated and compared to one of Mr Xi riding in a auto while inspecting troops during a parade in Beijing.

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