China is a country with a long history of censorship, regulation, and control over its citizens’ behaviors, activities, and beliefs. The Chinese government has been known to ban a variety of items, activities, and behaviors, often for reasons related to social order, political control, or public health. Some of the weirdest things that have been banned in China over the years are:
Time travel in TV shows and movies – In 2011, China’s State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television banned TV shows and movies that feature characters traveling back in time, calling the genre “disrespectful to history.” This ban was seen as an attempt to preserve a certain narrative of Chinese history and prevent alternative or subversive interpretations of historical events.
Reincarnation without government approval – In 2007, the Chinese government passed a law that requires all Buddhist monks in Tibet to seek government approval before they can reincarnate. This ban was seen as an attempt to extend the Chinese government’s control over Tibetan Buddhism, which has long been a source of resistance to Chinese rule.
Online video games during certain hours – In 2019, the Chinese government imposed a curfew on online video games for minors, prohibiting them from playing between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. in an effort to combat gaming addiction. This ban was seen as a response to concerns about the negative effects of video game addiction on young people’s mental and physical health.
Hip-hop culture – In 2018, China’s media regulator banned hip-hop culture and “tattoos, actors with poor morals, and other sub-cultures” from appearing on TV. This ban was seen as an attempt to control the cultural influence of hip-hop and prevent it from being associated with rebellious or subversive behavior.
Winnie the Pooh – Since 2017, images of Winnie the Pooh have been banned in China because they have been used to mock Chinese President Xi Jinping. This ban was seen as an attempt to control public discourse and prevent any criticism or ridicule of the country’s leaders.
Time-traveling novels – In addition to TV shows and movies, time-traveling novels were also banned in China in 2011. This ban was seen as an attempt to prevent the spread of unconventional or speculative ideas that could challenge the government’s control over the narrative of history and the course of the future.
Sharing umbrellas – In 2018, a park in Jinan, Shandong province, banned people from sharing umbrellas in an effort to prevent public displays of affection. This ban was seen as an attempt to control public behavior and prevent any form of physical intimacy that could be seen as inappropriate or indecent.
Lady Gaga – In 2011, Lady Gaga was banned from performing in China because her music was seen as vulgar and obscene. This ban was seen as an attempt to control the cultural influence of Western music and prevent it from being associated with values or behaviors that were seen as contrary to Chinese culture and morality.
Justin Bieber – In 2017, Justin Bieber was banned from performing in China due to his “bad behavior” both on and off stage. This ban was seen as an attempt to control the influence of Western popular culture and prevent it from being associated with values or behaviors that were seen as contrary to Chinese culture and morality.
South Park – In 2019, the Chinese government banned the popular American TV show South Park after an episode criticized China’s policies on free speech and censorship. This ban was seen as an attempt to control the narrative of public discourse and prevent any criticism or ridicule of the Chinese government’s policies and practices.
It’s important to note that many of these bans have been put in place for political or cultural reasons, and they reflect the Chinese government’s efforts to control the flow of information and promote certain values and beliefs among the Chinese population.