Trending in China: Justin Bieber Banned in China and 'Winnie the Pooh' Political Memes

    From Justin Bieber banned in China to students opting for plastic surgery, here are the topics Chinese consumers are buzzing about on social media today.
    Photo: Carrie-nelson/
    Ruonan ZhengAuthor
      Published   in Travel

    Justin Bieber banned from playing in China due to ‘bad behavior’#

    Justin Bieber is the latest Western celebrity to join the list of musicians blacklisted from China. The 23-year-old Canadian star has been banned from performing in China due to his past ‘bad behavior,' which includes posting pictures on Instagram of himself being carried up the Great Wall of China by his bodyguards. In 2014, he spurred a diplomatic kerfuffle when he posting photos of himself at the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, a controversial memorial that honors Japanese war criminals and has been a source of irritation between Japan and its neighboring countries.

    The Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture issued a statement on July 21st. Noting that Bieber is a "gifted singer" the bureau further stated, “In order to maintain order in the Chinese market and purify the Chinese permanence environment, it is not suitable to bring in badly behaved entertainers."

    Weibo comment: “The government did a good thing for Chinese youth. Considering the huge influence Justin has over his fans, his behavior should be checked first and foremost.”

    Photo: Zhu Difeng/
    Photo: Zhu Difeng/

    Plastic surgery becomes top summer to do list for Chinese students#

    Undergoing plastic surgery ranked top on Chinese students’ summer to do list, many of which are summer graduates wishing to have a new look before going to college or to ace a job interview. Many local hospitals even came up with special discounts to lure Chinese students. The Chinese seeking cosmetic enhancement are younger than their U.S. counterparts, according to a 2016 report by HSBC. 80 percent of patients in the U.S. are over 35-years-old, whereas those under 35 make up the biggest portion of people opting for plastic surgery in China.

    Weibo comment: “In this look-obsessed society, it’s very important to have a good impression.”

    Photo: Weibo
    Photo: Weibo

    ‘Winnie the Pooh’ is the object of censorship in China#

    The beloved fictional character ‘Winnie the Pooh’ has became the object of censorship on Chinese social media during the weekend of July 16. Though the government didn’t offer any official explanation, many suggested the comparison of President Xi with the bear was the reason behind the ban. The political meme first emerged online in 2013 as a picture of China's President Xi during a visit with then-U.S.President Obama placed side-by-side with an image of Winnie the Pooh and his friend Tigger. The comparison drew scathing feedback from people who believed it was disrespectful to compare such important figures to cartoon characters. Ever since the ban, many Chinese netizens have posted the cartoon characters on their personal social media accounts in protest of the censorship.

    Weibo comment: “My post about Winnie has been removed 5 times."

    Thailand bus driver stops Chinese tourists from riding#

    Thailand, one of the top overseas travel destinations for Chinese, is facing criticism by Chinese internet users over a bus dispute. A July 22 post on Facebook stated that a Thailand bus driver refused to let a Chinese tourist on. When another passenger argued back, the bus driver responded: “You have to take care [of the Chinese tourist] if you invite them on.” The discriminatory attitude toward the Chinese tourist initiated heated discussion among Chinese netizens, many of whom urged Thai tourism officials to give a proper explanation. Increasingly, as more and more Chinese consumers travel abroad, stereotypes of their bad behavior have come under the spotlight of the media. According to a report by the China National Tourism Administration, the top worst behaviors include making a public racket, cutting lines, and showing no respect for local culture and customers. The report concludes that there has been improvement in the behavior of Chinese overseas tourists, especially among the more affluent destinations like the U.S., the UK and France.

    Weibo comment: “I'll make sure to cross ‘riding the bus’ off my to-do list in Thailand.”

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