Peppa pig censored in china philstar.com quadcopter gas engine

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Videos with the hashtag #PeppaPig could not be searched Wednesday on Douyin, a popular video app. The catchphrase, "Get a tattoo of Peppa Pig, give a round of applause to ‘gangsters,’" was also not searchable on the Weibo microblogging platform, which posted a message saying it was acting "in accordance with relevant legal regulations."

Regulators have been ratcheting up control over Chinese blogs and apps in recent months. A controversial cybersecurity law was introduced last June as part of President Xi Jinping’s efforts to tighten control over what China’s public can see and say online while still trying to reap the economic benefits of internet use.

Bytedance saw its social networking app Neihan Duanzi shut down by the State Adminstration of Radio and Television last month. The app was a hub for GIFs, memes and often-vulgar humor which the authorities deemed "unhealthy." The company’s chief executive, Zhang Yiming, said in an apologetic statement at the time that he would increase the size of the content-monitoring team to 10,000 employees.

In a statement to The Associated Press, Douyin denied that it has "banned" Peppa Pig. But a source close to the company who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on its behalf said Douyin removed some user-generated videos featuring Peppa Pig that the company deemed inappropriate.

The Global Times, a state-run newspaper, wrote Monday that the moniker "refers to people who run counter to the mainstream value and are usually poorly educated with no stable job. They are unruly slackers roaming around and the antithesis of the young generation the (ruling Communist) Party tries to cultivate."

Xi, who strives to rally citizens around the idea of a "China Dream," has emphasized in speeches the importance of young people’s contributions to the country’s "rejuvenation" following foreign incursions and civil war over the last 150 years.

Despite such entreaties from the Communist Party, a number of internet subcultures fueled largely by young Chinese — from despondent "sang" people to lackadaisical "Buddhist youths" — have resisted the president’s call to "roll up your sleeves and work harder."

Peppa Pig is not the first fictional creature to be targeted by China’s censors for political and sociological reasons. References to Winnie the Pooh were recently scrubbed from the internet after users began employing the cuddly bear as a proxy for the somewhat corpulent Xi when he engineered a move this year to remove presidential term limits from the constitution. Among the popular postings, Winnie was shown hugging a jar of honey alongside the quote, "find the thing you love and stick with it."

On her show, Peppa and her animal friends partake in mundane activities such as bike riding and swimming. But "society people" have co-opted innocuous lines from the program for their own satirical takes, such as playing lewd rap songs after a scene in which Peppa says: "I like this. It’s very grown-up."

The topic "’Society Person’ Peppa Pig" has been viewed nearly 30 million times on Weibo, with fans sharing photos of themselves and Peppa paraphernalia along with the tag "society person." Some users have juxtaposed images of Peppa with racy pop lyrics, or edited Peppa videos to include techno lighting.