China denies entry to Disney's Winnie the Pooh film

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China's Culture Ministry declined to comment and referred questions to the State Administration of Radio and Television, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

One anonymous source told The Hollywood Reporter that the movie's ban was directly linked to China's crackdown on images of Winnie the Pooh however, another source said the decision likely has to do with the fact that there are now several new Hollywood tentpoles in the Chinese market.

And despite being released around the world, fans of Winnie the Pooh living in China will not be able to enjoy watching the film.

China's foreign film quota allows a maximum of around 34 foreign films to be imported into the country per year. A small number of people have even used Pooh as a symbol of resistance.

Winnie the Pooh, the character created by British author A A Milne as a companion for an eight-year-old Christopher Robin, comes to life in the film to help his now-adult friend regain his imagination.

One popular comparison is a photo of Xi and former United States President Barack Obama walking together side-by-side in 2013, and a picture of Pooh strolling along with his friend Tigger.

So, the Chinese government is petrified of Winnie the Pooh, a cartoon caricature?

"Can I still say Winnie the Pooh?" posted several users on Weibo, a Chinese microblogging site, on Tuesday, testing censors by adding images of Xi and Pooh.

"It is believed that the recent step towards banning Winnie The Pooh" film is a fallout of its 2015 experience.

Made for an estimated US$75 million (£58 million), director Marc Forster's live-action Winnie-the-Pooh revival stars Ewan McGregor as a grown-up Christopher Robin reunited with the beloved characters of the Hundred Acre Wood.

The government has not completely banned photos of Pooh from the internet, but it has restricted them.