HBO website and comedian John Oliver censored in China
It was one Winnie the Pooh joke too far. After mocking censors working overtime to delete comparisons of President Xi Jinping with the cartoon bear, comedian John Oliver and now the website of TV giant HBO have fallen victim to China's censorship machine.
"Send failure" Weibo returned when AFP attempted to post Oliver's name. "Content is illegal!" the service said.
YouTube, which also airs "Last Week Tonight", has long been blocked in China.
Oliver's segment dug into Xi's distaste at comparisons to the self-described "bear of very little brain" and introduced viewers to repressive changes underway in the world's most populous country.
Chinese netizens have often compared Xi to A.A. Milne's most famous creation, something that censors have been quick to purge inside the Great Firewall.
The segment also recounted recent headlines: from Xi becoming "emperor for life" to a corruption purge that targeted his political rivals, to a crackdown on freedom of expression, human rights, and religion, to an ongoing suppression and imprisonment campaign against China's Uighur ethnic minority.
"The era of do as we say may be dawning."