See that pig? That pig has been scrubbed off part of China’s internet. That pig is a symbol of counterculture and organised crime. Really.
Peppa Pig, the eponymous character of a British TV show for preschool children, can no longer be found on popular video site Douyin, according to the Chinese state-run Global Times publication. Over 30,000 videos previously hashtagged with the character vanished over the weekend.
Peppa Pig was localised to China in 2015, but really became a thing last year. The pig became a popular meme among China’s “shehuiren”, which refers to counterculture youth or those involved in organised crime.
Most hilariously, a new pig, Dudu Pig, is being promoted in Peppa’s place on other Chinese social media sites, like Weibo.
Douyin is a popular platform that lets netizens create 15-second music videos. Founded last September, it already has over 66 million daily active users. It becomes the latest internet company to self censor in China. After new, stricter censorship rules , Chinese companies (China’s Twitter) have tried to clean their platforms up as much as possible in order to appease the country’s government.
Other banned content, according to an alleged list from Douyin, included nudity, religious cults and anything involving guns.
Peppa isn’t the first cartoon animal to face the wrath of China’s censorious internet. Winnie the Pooh has previously been targeted as netizens, unable to openly criticize Chinese officials, used Pooh to veil.