China’s Weibo bans John Oliver after Xi Jingpin segment

22 June 2018

China’s Weibo bans John Oliver after Xi Jingpin segment

China’s version of Twitter, Weibo, has blocked and deleted all content referring to John Oliver after the comedian criticised China for its human rights abuses and mocked its president, Xi Jinping, in a 20 minute segment on his show, Last Week Tonight.

Mr Oliver took aim at China’s moves to end presidential term limits and preserve “Xi Jinping Thought” in its constitution, describing Mr Xi’s consolidation of power as being driven by a “leadership cult”.

The comedian also criticised the One Belt One Road Initiative and ongoing efforts to censor images of Winnie the Pooh, because of the cartoon bear’s apparent resemblence to President Xi.

“Under Xi Jinping, China is becoming more authoritarian, just as it has major plans for expansion onto the world stage,” Mr Oliver said.

According to SBS, attempts to post Mr Oliver’s English name or the name of his show prompted error messages about “information that violated related laws and regulations”.

In 2017, Weibo banned a Chinese-language John Oliver fan page after he interviewed Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.