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China's Popular Douyin App Says No to Children's Cartoon Character Peppa Pig


China doesn't play when it comes to their country's moral standards! The rejection of hip hop and British children's cartoon character Peppa Pig are prime examples. Censorship was added to Peppa Pig essentially because her image became “thugged” out on, Douyin, an app similar to Vine and Musical.ly. It allows users to upload short videos usually involving lip-syncing with special effects. Douyin (United States: Tik Tok) was created September 2016 by Zhang Yiming possibly in 200 days. By June 2018 Douyin became one of the world's most popular apps by reaching a sudden 150 million users.

With such an enormous viewership, it is no surprise China suppressed the rebellious Peppa Pig (#Xiaozhu Peiqi)- a reflection of the shehuiren subculture. Reports show the Peppa Pig hashtag (China: #Xiaozhu Peiqi: #小猪佩奇) has slowed from 30,000 videos and now fluctuates between zero to 2,000 search results. Shehuiren translates to the “society people” meaning those who are poor, uneducated “gangsters”. The “society people” are looked down upon and are a true contradiction to China’s Government. The cultural values China holds can easily be spotted in Confucianism. Confucianism is the ethical teachings formulated by Confucius emphasizes devotion to parents, family, and friends, cultivation of the mind, self-control, and just social activity.

Even though, Peppa Pig is heavily censored on Douyin, it is not stopping her from becoming a mainstream icon. Similar to Hello Kitty in Japan- Peppa Pig is now associated with clothing apparel, magazines, billboards, tattoos and soon two theme parks in Shanghai and Beijing (Coming in 2019). Peppa Pig is not the only cartoon scolded in China. Winnie the Pooh is on the hit-list also. Apparently, citizens compared President Xi Jinping and other Government members to the widely loved Pooh bear.

China has made great efforts to improve their societal standards. For example, the One-Child policy that once forced abortions officially ended in 2016 after forty years of existence. The country is also hoping to tackle its extreme poverty rate in the rural areas. It is important to remember that China is responsible for 1,415,171,198 billion people. It takes time to solve such intricate societal issues let alone censoring public content. China’s past extreme solutions are now balancing into a more effective route.

Sources:

https://mondaynote.com/introducing-douyin-chinas-ridiculously-sticky-short-video-app-ab005727d89e

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201805/07/WS5af03ea9a3105cdcf651c738_2.html


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