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All The Things China Has Banned In The Past 100 Years

Updated October 13, 2018 54.6k views29 items

Given the country's been under a strict Communist regime since the 1940s, it's no surprise China is home to some pretty strange laws. Over the years, China has become notorious for its ever growing list of bans. Why does China ban things? The Chinese government seeks to suppress free speech via banning anything deemed subversive. How does this pan out in reality? From the days of Mao Zedong to present, repressive legislation has resulted in some rigid and often downright bizarre bans. 

The term "subversive" is apparently subjective, as demonstrated by items that are banned in China. Most people know social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are banned and that the Communist Party is a big fan of outlawing books and banning American movies. However, did you know things like Jasmine flowers, architecture deemed "weird," and even some celebrities are not allowed in China? If you're interested to learn more, browse the list below! 

  • Photo: Sky Noir / flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0

    Multiple Phrases Including 'Personality Cult' And 'I Oppose'

    Following the 2018 decision to end term limits for China's president, a number of phrases were found to have been banned or censored. "Personality cult," "I oppose," "Disagree," "Animal Farm," and "Emperor" were among the banned language.

    Status: As of May 2018, these phrases remain banned and several more words and phrases have been added to the censored list.

  • Peppa Pig

    Problems with Peppa Pig: After Peppa Pig was used in videos viewed as being associated with a "gangster" subculture in 2018, the lovable character was banned from the video app Douyin.

    Status: Peppa Pig is still banned, but clever users have started using terms like "PeppaPeppa" to find videos of the character.


    #492 of 631 The Best Cartoons of All Time#15 of 148 The Most Annoying Kids Shows of All Time#25 of 66 Funny Names to Give a Pig

  • Photo: Pinterest / Fair use


    In 2017, China quietly began blocking Pinterest.

    Status: No reason was given for the banning of Pinterest and it remains banned to this day.

  • Photo: B612星球 / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Weird Architecture

    In 2016, China officials announced that “oversized, xenocentric, weird” buildings will no longer be approved for construction. 

    Status: The ban remains in place and China is focused on building “suitable, economic, green, and pleasing to the eye,” structures in the future.