Making Winnie a persona non grata is the government’s response to a playful trend among Chinese netizens who often compare the Chinese leader to the famous bear
Winnie-the-Pooh, the beloved children's icon, has been blacklisted in China following comparisons between the pot-bellied bear and China's president
The joke is a long-standing one in China. One of the earliest memes to appear was in 2013, of President Xi and US President Barack Obama alongside an image of Winnie the Pooh and Tigger.
And when Xi Jinping and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shared an awkward handshake, China's social media users responded with Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore shaking hands.
China's government has made no comment about the ban, but it comes amid heightened sensitivities ahead of the Communist Party's national congress - a meeting of the upper echelons of the party held every five years.
This picture was widely shared on Chinese social media before the powers that be moved swiftly to block it. The friendly yellow bear elicited a decidedly unfriendly response; indeed the Chinese government went so far as to add ‘Winnie the Pooh’ to its internet search blacklist.