Oh, bother: Winnie the Pooh gets blacklisted in China

Winnie the Pooh, a much-loved children's icon, is sure to be uttering one of his most famous frustrated phrases right now: "Oh, bother."

Images and mentions of the honey-loving bear has been blocked on social media sites in China.

There hasn't been any official explanation for why the "willy, nilly silly old bear" has fallen foul of authorities.

But speculation is abound - including the fact that Chinese president Xi Jinping has been compared to AA Milne's character in the past.

According to the Financial Times, typing in Pooh's name on China's Weibo site brings up the message that the "content is illegal", while images of the bear have been removed from messaging app WeChat's official gallery.

BBC News' Beijing correspondent Stephen McDonell says the comparisons between the beloved character and the president don't fall in line with the government's wishes.

"In other countries such comparisons might be thought of as harmless enough and some might even think that having Winnie as your mascot could even be quite endearing: not in China," he wrote in a blog.

"Here the president is Mr Grey. He doesn't do silly things; he has no quirky elements; he makes no mistakes and that is why he is above the population and unable to be questioned."

The ban comes as the country prepares for the Communist Party Congress.