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Winnie The Pooh has been censored in China (Picture: Disney)

If youre a fan of the bumbling bear that is Winnie The Pooh, feel sorry for the folks in China.

Why? Because the lovable bear is strictly banned in the country – which means the brand new film, Christopher Robin, isnt being given the green light to be shown in cinemas.

So why is Winnie The Pooh banned in China?

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the live-action film didnt get the green light from the countrys film authorities as part of an ongoing war against Winnie the Pooh, a key character in the movie.

Christopher Robin isnt going to be released in China because of a Winnie The Pooh meme. (Picture: Disney, Barcroft Images)

Although no official reason has been given, a source claims it was all part of the governments crackdown of the image of the honey-loving bear after activists compared Chinese President Xi Jinping to Pooh in a now viral meme.



The infamous meme showed an offhand picture of Xi Jinping walking side by side with President Obama next to a picture of pudgy Pooh walking with Tigger.

The image was widely circulated by bloggers last summer and quickly became a symbol of the resistance in China with foes of the ruling Communist Party.

As a result, the countrys censors went into overdrive and authorities began blocking pictures of Winnie the Pooh on social media.

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Christopher Robin isn't going to be released in China because of a Winnie The Pooh meme METRO GRAB taken from: Image of Barack Obama and Xi Jinping from Reuters Credit: Reuters, Twitter

This is apparently what has got the country angered (Picture: Reuters, Twitter)

Memes comparing Xi Jinping to Winnie are believed to have first emerged in 2013.

The new film, inspired by the A.A. Milne books, stars Ewan McGregor as a middle-aged Christopher Robin, whose mundane life is interrupted when he is unexpectedly reunited with Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and the other talking animals of the Hundred Acre Wood.

News of the PG films non-release comes days after Chinese authorities blocked HBO after John Oliver mocked Xis sensitivity over being compared to Winnie the Pooh.

More: Film

However, insiders insist that the decision was not political but likely has to do with the size and scope of the film given the foreign film quota.China represents an ever growing share of the global box office.

Other live-action releases from Disney netted tidy sums from China audiences. In 2014, Maleficent made $48 million (£37m) and 2015s Cinderella took home $72 million (£55m).



Christopher Robin opens in the UK on 17 August.

MORE: What gender are Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore and the other characters?

MORE: Disneys Christopher Robin banned in China as war on Winnie The Pooh continues




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