BEIJING — The HBO website is the latest to be blocked by China's Great Firewall, after John Oliver had a bit of fun with its president.
The New York Times reports that the British comedian did a 20-minute segment on China on his satirical news show "Last Week Tonight," critiquing the country's human rights record and dystopian surveillance tactics.
What really did it though, was joking about Xi Jinping and Winnie the Pooh, his pants-less, pot-bellied 2D twin.
Xi is especially sensitive about his cartoon doppleganger, so much so that images of the bear have been purged on Chinese social media.
Like Pooh, Oliver's name and show have been censored on Weibo, with attempts to post either resulting in "Send failure!" or "Content is illegal!"
HBO's website has also been inaccessible to Chinese netizens since Saturday, though HBO shows like Game of Thrones are still available on Tencent's streaming platform.
The Great Firewall's kill list currently includes a whole slew of blocked Western media outlets, including Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and the New York Times. But mainland internet users hellbent on accessing these sites have their ways.