China bans 'Winnie the Pooh' film over comparisons to President Xi Jinping

Christopher Robin meets his childhood friend the silly old Winnie-the-Pooh

It is unclear why the Chinese government denied the request and Chinese authorities do not provide reasons to Hollywood studios when they disallow screening of their movies, the source said.

People compared Xi to Winnie the Pooh and Obama to Tigger.

China's Culture Ministry declined to comment and referred questions to the State Administration of Radio and Television, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But the country also has an annual foreign film quota set at 34 movies.

An insider told The Hollywood Reporter that the reason for the ban could have something to do with the foreign film quota in China, which is now at 34 movies per year. In 2015, a picture showing Xi Jinping riding in a motorcade alongside an image of Winnie the Pooh in a toy auto was reportedly labelled as "China's most censored photo' by political analysis company Global Risk Insights".

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The ban is part of the government's reported crackdown on banning Winnie the Pooh from the country's internet due to comparisons of the character to Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The Winnie the Pooh character has become a lighthearted way for people across China to mock their president, but it seems the government doesn't see the amusing side.

Censors began cracking down on such images after comparison grew and memes went viral. The images, seen by Reuters on Tuesday, had been blanked out on the site by Wednesday.

"It is believed that the recent step towards banning Winnie The Pooh" film is a fallout of its 2015 experience. "Make no mistake: All bears are created equal in Taiwan and (the Christopher Robin) movie is screening nationwide".

The live-action/CGI tale stars Ewan McGregor as the human protagonist of A. A. Milne's series of children's tales, who returns to Hundred Acre Wood as an adult and reconnects with familiar characters such as Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore.

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