One anonymous source told The Hollywood Reporter that the movie's ban was directly linked to China's crackdown on images of Winnie the Pooh however, another source said the decision likely has to do with the fact that there are now several new Hollywood tentpoles in the Chinese market.
The joke began in 2013, Vox reports, when a photo of the rotund Xi walking alongside a comparatively lanky Barack Obama was circulated on Chinese social media giant Weibo alongside an image of Winnie and Tigger walking hand in hand.
While China provides no reason for the films it doesn't select for its theatres, it's an unlikely coincidence that it comes after opponents have likened the bear's appearance to Mr Xi and have used Pooh as a symbol of resistance.
Chinese authorities immediately censored the meme after it became viral on social media.
The live-action/CGI tale stars Ewan McGregor as the human protagonist of A. A. Milne's series of children's tales, who returns to Hundred Acre Wood as an adult and reconnects with familiar characters such as Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore. In 2015, the Financial Times reported, a photo of Xi waving at supporters from a parade auto next to an image of Pooh in a toy vehicle was named the most censored image of the year by Global Risk Insights.More news: WFU Assistant Basketball Coach Accused of Punching, Killing NYC Tourist
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Chinese also has a quota of foreign films that are allowed to be released in the country every year, which could also be part of the reason for the ban.
And despite being released around the world, fans of Winnie the Pooh living in China will not be able to enjoy watching the film.
This article has been adapted from its original source.