Guess who just got censored in #china? Here’s a hint: he sports a red shirt that’s a tad too small, is pants-less, resides in the Hundred-Acre Wood, and has a seemingly incurable addiction to honey. Yes, that’s right – #Winnie The Pooh has just been axed from China’s top social media platforms, and it’s all apparently due to a meme that makes fun of President #Xi Jinping.

Over the weekend, Chinese censors blocked users of WeChat and Weibo, China's bigger-than-Twitter microblogging platform, from using Pooh’s name in the comment section of posts. Posts comparing the Chinese president to the animated bear — a longstanding joke in China — were also taken down.

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On Weibo, users attempting to write the character’s name are greeted with a message saying “content is illegal.” The popular social messaging app, WeChat, had also apparently taken down a set of Winnie the Pooh gifs.

Chinese officials did not offer an explanation, but it was netizens who speculated that it’s all due to various memes comparing President Xi Jinping with the bear. Images of the nation’s president have often been put next to Pooh to indicate their similarities, which have gone viral on the internet. And it’s not the first time the Hundred-Acre Wood’s most popular resident got in trouble with Chinese censors.

Winnie the Pooh Xi: China’s most censored photo

According to the Guardian, the memes started to show up in 2013, spawned by a photo of Pooh and Tigger walking alongside each other, right next to an image of President Xi walking with President Barack Obama.

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The joke continued in 2014, where a photo of the Chinese president shaking hands with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was collaged with an illustration of Pooh bear shaking his donkey friend Eeyore’s hand.

The following year, China named its “most censored image for 2015” – a photo of Xi standing up through the roof a car in a parade, collaged with a photo of Winnie the Pooh in his toy car. Before it was taken down, BBC reported that it was shared over 60,000 times on Weibo.

Poor little Winnie

The call to remove Pooh memes from China’s biggest social networking site appears to be a move from the government to disassociate the nation’s president – who also holds the titles Chairman of the Central Military Commission and General Secretary of the Communist Party – from the fictional character. The BBC further notes that the removal of Pooh on social media could be related to the leader’s intent to crack down on opposition.