China has blocked HBO after host John Oliver devoted a considerable amount of time criticizing President Xi Jinping and China’s notorious crackdowns on dissent, at a time when Xi is trying to rebrand himself.
In addition to calling out China over human rights violations and various forms of propaganda, Oliver pointed out that Xi is very sensitive Winnie the Pooh comparisons, which Xi has censored due to Chinese social media users using Pooh memes to mock him over the removal of presidential term limits.
Xi “is very sensitive about his perceived resemblance to Winnie the Pooh,” said Oliver.
The Daily Newsreports that HBO.com has been blocked for 100% of Chinese internet users following the segment – citing internet monitoring website Greatfire.org.
Oliver also touched on China’s $1 trillion “One Belt One Road” initiative of economic expansion through new international trade routes as well as an infrastructure expansion in over 60 countries. Oliver notes that China has produced a “propaganda video” to tell the world how good the deal is.
The HBO host also called China out over the “most intense crackdown on human rights since Tiananmen square” for assigning “social credit scores” to people, as well as Muslim reeducation camps that have recently made headlines.
Other sites which have been blocked by China’s “Great Firewall” include the New York Times, Facebook and Twitter.