Chinese President Xi Jinping looks too much like Winnie the Pooh, apparently, so the regime had to go ahead and ban any mentions of the big yellow bear on the internet, according toBBC News. GIFs of Winnie the Pooh have been deleted off China’s instant messaging app WeChat, and trying to compose a message mentioning the bear will grant you an error message.
Like Xi, Pooh has a rotund face and nose, and netizens have been taking split-screen pics of the two making similar poses, including one of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shaking hands with Xi looking downtrodden. Abe’s sad eyes and hairstyle even look like Eeyore, too.
Generally in China, people are not allowed to make fun of Chinese leaders — that includes on the internet, which faces constant censorship. In response to censorship, netizens develop hidden messages and slang to circumvent authorities, in addition to investing in VPNs to counter the firewall. It makes for hilarious fodder, sometimes, despite the darker underlying human rights issues at hand.