Peppa Pig appears to be the latest Western children’s character to be targeted by Beijing censors after the popular cartoon became an icon for an "unruly" breed of young Chinese adults.
The animated swine was axed from the Douyin video website as state media identified how Peppa had taken on a "subversive hue" among a new generation of "slackers" opposed to the values of the ruling Communist Party.
Around 30,000 short Peppa videos were removed from Douyin, and the Peppa Pig hashtag was also unavailable, the Global Times newspaper reported.
Peppa is extremely popular among Chinese families, with many believing that high-quality British cartoons can help boost English language skills among the young. The Peppa cartoons have been downloaded on Chinese video platforms more than 30 billion times.
But the porcine character has also become popular among young, poorly educated adults, whose values "run counter to the mainstream", the Global Times said.
"They are unruly slackers roaming around and the antithesis of the young generation the Party tries to cultivate."
Many of these young adults will wear Peppa-themed watches or have tatoos which feature the pig.
The Global Times said: "After Peppa Pig started to take on this subversive hue and subsequently go viral, some experts said the popularity of the cartoon demonstrates the social psychology of hunting for novelty and spoofing, which could potentially hamper positive societal morale."
The clampdown on Peppa Pig comes amid a broader campaign against risky online content which targets livestreams, blogs and mobile gaming.
A dirty jokes app was shut down earlier this month for publishing "vulgar and improper content".
Images of Winnie the Pooh were also censored from the Internet after some people likened the portly bear to Chinese president Xi Jinping in online postings.
Observers have also witnessed a wider war on immoral living in China since President Xi assumed power five years ago.
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