China says no to Winnie the Pooh film over comparisons with president

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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.

No reason has been given for the film's denial, but according to the Hollywood Reporter, it is because of China's censorship of Winnie the Pooh images that started previous year. It started when Xi visited the United States in 2013 and an image of him and his former American counterpart Barack Obama walking together spurred comparisons to Winnie, a portly Xi, walking with Tigger, a lanky Obama.

No reason has been given for the decision, but Government censors had blocked images comparing Pooh and Xi Jinping after bloggers used the bear to parody the Chinese President.

The comparison once again made rounds in 2014, when an image of Jinping shaking hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was posted on Twitter juxtapositioned to a picture of Pooh and Eeyore.

With one particular image comparing President Xi to Winnie and President Obama to Tigger.

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

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The first is the country's foreign film quota.

Although "Christopher Robin" won't be shown to the country of 1.3 billion people, it made a solid debut in the United States last Friday, grossing US$24.6 million (£19 million) in ticket sales.

Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) with his longtime friend Winnie the Pooh.

In 2015, the political analysis portal Global Risk Insights called a picture of Xi standing up through the roof of a parade vehicle paired with an image of a Winnie the Pooh toy auto "China's most censored photo" of the year.

The only other Disney film this year to receive a no-go from China was sci-fi film "A Wrinkle in Time".