British comedian censored in China for criticizing China and Xi Jinping

DHARAMSALA, June 22: China has censored British comedian John Oliver from its Twitter-like social media platform, Weibo after the comedian criticised China and mocked President Xi Jinping on HBO’s satirical news show ‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’.

On the latest episode of the popular US show, which was aired on Sunday, the British comedian heavily criticized the Chinese government, highlighted political and economic issues that China is now facing and a range of human rights abuses among others.

Weibo, China’s largest social media network has blocked all mentions of John Oliver after the latest episode of the comedian’s satirical news show.

 “China’s Weibo has banned all new posts mentioning John Oliver (who mocked exactly this kind of internet censorship)”, reads a tweet from a user called Alan Wong.

Search results show a popup in Chinese which roughly translates to ‘the search word is in violation of rules and regulations’.

In the show that runs for 20 minutes, the comedian also criticized China’s moves to end presidential term limit and to enshrine ‘Xi Jinping Thought’ in its constitution, and likened it to a consolidation of power driven by a ‘leadership cult’.

In addition to that, Oliver also criticised China’s “Belt and Road” initiative, its ongoing crackdown on corruption, and moves to censor online images of the cartoon bear Winnie the Pooh because of its resemblance to the Chinese president which ultimately led him to join a long list of subjects and topics that are blocked in China.

According to a report on Reuters, the British comedian has also landed in hot water in China after he interviewed His Holiness the Dalai Lama for his satirical news show last year as well.

Weibo is said to have removed a Chinese-language fan page of John Oliver’s show after he interviewed the Dalai Lama, the report said citing a moderator of the fan page.

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