China denies entry to Disney's Winnie the Pooh film

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China denies entry to Disney's Winnie the Pooh film

It is unclear why the Chinese government denied the request and Chinese authorities do not provide reasons to Hollywood studios when they disallow screening of their movies, the source said.

There is also a popular picture of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shaking Mr Xi's hands, which was juxtaposed with a picture of Pooh shaking paws with Eeyore.

While an official reason has not been given for the film's apparent ban, Winnie-the-Pooh has become a symbol of resistance to the ruling Communist Party in China after bloggers started to compare Chinese President Xi Jinping to the friendly but clumsy, slow-witted and tubby toy bear.

Chinese authorities immediately censored the meme after it became viral on social media.

But the country also has an annual foreign film quota set at 34 movies.

Cathleen Taff, head of distribution for Disney, confirmed the film has been denied a release the Associated Press reported The move locks the release out from the world's second largest film market.

One image shows Xi Jinping standing next to Barack Obama, with a drawing of Pooh next to Tigger next to it (comparing Jinping to the bear and Obama to the tall, slender tiger).

According to Global Risks Insights, The Chinese government views the comparisons and mockery as "a serious effort to undermine the dignity of the presidential office and Xi himself". Disney will open "Ant-Man and The Wasp" in China on August 24.

The movie stars Ewan McGregor as a grown up Christopher Robin who is reunited with his childhood friends for another adventure.

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.

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