After memes popped up comparing Chinese President Xi Jinping to Winnie The Pooh. The memes started when Jinping met with Barack Obama back in 2013. The memes reached critical mass in 2015 and China proceeded to ban Winnie The Pooh and related imagery of the fictional character on search engines and social media services.
Fast forward to 2018, and some Chinese gamers are noting that images of Winnie the Pooh character are being censored off of Weibo and other social media services in China,
Following the latest trailer for Kingdom Hearts 3, various gamers began noticing that Winnie the Pooh images were being censored out, as noted by Censored Gaming.
Images of Winnie the Pooh from Kingdom Hearts 3 are being censored in China due to the country’s history of censorship issues with the yellow bear pic.twitter.com/EO0sj5Ao3H
— Censored Gaming (@CensoredGaming_) November 20, 2018
If you visit the Chinese gaming website, A9VG, they’ve been covering Kingdom Hearts 3 regularly. One of the entries that went up on November 16th, 2018 featured a collection of screenshots from one of the worlds featured in the game, including Disney’s Tangled, and we also see some of the characters from Winnie The Pooh. However, you might notice that Pooh bear is completely censored out via a bright white light, almost similar to the strobe lights used to censor out fan-service in PS4 games due to Sony’s new censorship policy.
There have been jokes from Chinese gamers about the censorship taking place on search engines such as Baidu and Weibo, where Winnie the Pooh is being censored out.
— 维尼大帝 (@Kingofpigsty) November 12, 2018
Hilariously, this all started based on a meme that simply showed the side-by-side comparison of Pooh and Tigger and Jinping and Obama, which you can view below.
The meme was so popular in China that it spawned a second meme from when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Jinping met, where Abe was depicted as Eeyore and Jinping was once again depicted as Pooh bear.
According to Finance Twitter, there was a third meme that was the final straw, which had Jinping in a photo raising his hand and Pooh with its arms outstretched riding in a car.
The images of Winnie the Pooh ended up getting hit with Chinese banhammers, and now it’s being applied to the promotion of Kingdom Hearts 3 and any images featuring Winnie the Pooh within the game.
(Thanks for the news tip zac za)