Xinnie the Pooh refers to the online trend of comparing the President of China, Xi Jinping to the Disney cartoon character, from the works of Alan Alexander Milne.
Initially, Chinese users with the intention of mocking the Chinese President spread the comparison; however, the phenomenon became truly viral after the cartoon character was blacklisted by Chinese censorship.
The series of comparisons began on Weibo (a Chinese social network) in 2013, following a meeting between US President Barack Obaman and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
User badtuzizi posted a photo of the two presidents walking, along with a picture of Winnie the Pooh and Tigger walking similarly.
The meme became popular on Weibo and also gained traction on Western mediums as well, appearing in Tweets as well as news outlets.
In July 2017, the memes about “Xinnie the Pooh” were started to be removed by Chinese censorship authorities, which was shared with the rest of the world through tweets.
The animated series, South Park was banned in China, removing all mentions and episodes of the show, to which the creators of the series responded with harsh criticism of the relationship between corporations and the Chinese government in their episode titled Band in China