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

China's film authorities have denied a release to Disney's new Winnie the Pooh film, "Christopher Robin", due to internet memes comparing Chinese President Xi Jinping to the fictional bear known as Pooh.

BEIJING - Chinese censors have banned "Christopher Robin", an adaptation of Winnie the Pooh ostensibly over many using the fictional character nationwide to take potshots at President Xi Jinping, The Hollywood Reporter claimed in a report.

The trend first started in 2013 when Jinping visited the United States and an image of him walking alongside then American president Barack Obama was likened to one featuring Pooh and Tigger, according to The Guardian.

Jinping was compared to the fictional character again in 2014 while pictured meeting Japan’s Shinzo Abe with the latter taking the form of Eryore.

Censors began cracking down on such images after comparison grew and memes went viral. Last month, the website of US television station HBO was blocked in the wake of comedian John Oliver repeatedly making fun of Jinping by comparing him to Pooh. - Agencies