Xi Jingping's Pooh Bear Animus Gets 'Christopher Robin' Banned in China

Winnie the Poo is not welcome in China

Chinese authorities do not provide reasons to Hollywood studios when they reject their movies, the source said.

One anonymous source told The Hollywood Reporter that the movie's ban was directly linked to China's crackdown on images of Winnie the Pooh however, another source said the decision likely has to do with the fact that there are now several new Hollywood tentpoles in the Chinese market.

The uncanny connection between the two, first surfaced in 2013 when a picture of President Jinping walking along with former US President Barack Obama was posted alongside a picture of Winnie the Pooh and Tigger.

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A 2014 picture of Xi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has also been compared to Pooh and Eeyore. As a result, Pooh has been banned on social media in the country and has become a symbol of political resistance with detractors of the Communist party.

Chinese authorities immediately censored the meme after it became viral on social media.

And despite being released around the world, fans of Winnie the Pooh living in China will not be able to enjoy watching the film.

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Although no official reason has been given for Christopher Robin's banishment from China, which operates a strict quota on foreign film, the ban comes on the heels of "several Pooh crackdowns", says Sky News.

However, the decision has revived online discussion as censors have in the past targeted the film's main character, originally conceptualised by English author A.A. Milne, due to memes that compare the bumbling bear to President Xi Jinping. Disney will open "Ant-Man and The Wasp" in China on August 24.

Disney's live-animated hybrid "Christopher Robin" - which tells the story of Winnie the Pooh's now grown-up and stressed-out friend and how he reunites with his old stuffed friend - debuted in second place at $24.6 million.

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