China has banned the most popular rabies comics website in the country for mocking a communist hero. Under the "Law of Protection of Heroes and Martyrs", approved by the National People's Congress and promulgated on May 1, it is now illegal to make jokes at the expense of communist heroes or martyrs, those distinctions that belong, of course, to the state.
The Baozou comics site, which had more than 10 million followers on the Chinese social media site Weibo and more than 245,000 YouTube subscribers, was so popular that its comic fury 7723 became a Netflix movie called Next Ge n which is currently in development, the transmission service recently announced in Cannes. The animated film features the performance of Jason Sudeikis, Michael Pena, Constance Wu, David Cross and Charlyne Yi.
The site suffered the wrath of the censors due to a video posted on the site in 2014 and recently published in the news aggregator Jinri Toutiao. The video showed someone wearing a "furious face" mask mocking Dong Cunrui, a young communist soldier who blew himself up to destroy a bunker of the nationalist party during the Chinese Civil War.
The China Cyberspace Administration, which is China's main Internet regulator, said in a statement on Thursday evening that "it convened to the executives of several Internet platform companies this afternoon and asked them to strictly enforce cyberspace regulation. " In response, Weibo said he had closed 16 accounts, including Baozou's, for showing disrespect to communist heroes.
Weibo deleted Baozou's account on Thursday afternoon, along with other platforms such as Jinri Toutiao, China's popular news aggregator, and Youku video platform. China has a rich history of censorship of animations, from Winnie the Pooh to look like President Xi Jinping, to Peppa Pig for being a subversive icon of the "gangster", to the application of the parody Neihan Duanzi for having "vulgar and deceptive content" .
Ren Jian, the CEO of the company behind Baozou, apologized on Thursday night. "The company is very appreciative of the media and the supervision and criticism of the fans, so that we can see our deficiency clearly and do better in the future," he said in a statement on Weibo in the account that has since been eliminated.