China has censored Youtuber PewDiePie following the release of a video sharing a meme which compares the country's president to Winnie the Pooh.
Felix Kjellberg, known otherwie as PewDiePie, announced his blacklisting in a recent video which presents a screenshot of what happens when you search “PewDiePie” in China: There are no results. A number of internet users based in China have since confirmed they can no longer see the Youtuber's content online - although re-uploads of his videos are available through other sites.
“Well boys, we did it. I’m banned from China. That’s right. After I spoke about the Hong Kong protests and showed their leader being mocked for looking like Winnie the Pooh, I got banned from China,” he says in the video.
“Now if you search anything PewDiePie-related on any Reddit related forum in China or a YouTube related video, it will just be completely blank. I’m laughing, but I’m sorry if you’re in China and try to watch my videos. That kind of sucks.”
In the video which seemingly got him banned, PewDiePie shares a series of memes including one which compares China's president Xi Jinping to Winner the Pooh. The Winnie the Pooh character has been banned in China since 2017 after a surge of memes that compared China's president Xi Jinping to the cartoon bear. "The resemblance is uncanny," said Kjellberg.
The YouTuber goes on to discuss the NBA China scandal with Lebron James, and the recent Hearthstone player ban. “China is like that one person on Twitter that can’t take any criticism and just blocks everyone” he said.
Earlier this month, Blizzard removed Hong Kong player Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai from the Hearthstone Grandmasters, rescinded the pro player’s prize money for Season 2, and barred him from entering official competition for one year after Blitzchung’s public support of the protests by pro-democracy movements in Hong Kong. On October 6, the player won his Grandmasters match and apppeared in a post-game interview wearing a face mask and goggles, a look that’s now become a symbol for the protests in Hong Kong. During the interview, Blitzchung also called for the “liberation of Hong Kong”.
Blizzard would later announce it would give “Blitzchung” back his prize money and shorten his suspension from one year to six months. In a statements released last week, Blizzard president J. Allen Brack said the company’s “relationships in China had no influence” on its decision to ban Blitzchung and that in retrospect, it “reacted too quickly.”