SEVERE WX : Severe Thunderstorm Watch View Alerts

Chinese video app targets 'subversive' Peppa Pig in online cleanup

A children's cartoon character has become an unlikely victim of China's ongoing push to clean up cyberspace.Do...

Posted: May 2, 2018 12:12 PM
Updated: May 2, 2018 12:12 PM

A children's cartoon character has become an unlikely victim of China's ongoing push to clean up cyberspace.

Douyin, a Chinese video-sharing platform popular with millennials, has stopped users sharing what state media said were "subversive" memes involving Peppa Pig, the British animated series for preschoolers.

The state-run tabloid Global Times reported Monday that at least 30,000 videos under the #PeppaPig hashtag had been removed from the platform.

Peppa Pig is hugely popular and broadcast around the world. It has long been a favorite of Chinese parents and toddlers, but in recent months the character has become popular among certain celebrities and their fans, who shared images and videos of Peppa merchandise.

"I don't know how the Peppa Pig meme took off from Douyin, but to me, it's like a stress reliever as it looks so innocent and dumb," said Nanxin Cao, a 25-year-old analyst working at a consulting firm in Beijing.

Peppa mania has even crossed over into street culture in China, with some teens and twentysomethings getting Peppa tattoos depicting the innocent piglet as a gangster or pirate. There's even a trending phrase that some translate as "get your Peppa Pig tatt, shout out to your frat."

An internal Douyin memo dated last week and reviewed by CNN said censors had demanded the platform stop publishing videos that showed Peppa Pig "spreading negative social influence."

Bytedance, Douyin's parent company, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Peppa Pig-related content doesn't appear to have been affected on other social media platforms.

Chen Nian, an analyst with Gsdata, a consultancy which monitors Chinese social media, said in a statement Peppa's streetwise reputation in memes and spoofs was a "massive nonsensical joke" that was a way for young people to rebel.

"The contradictory traits of a 'thug' and the innocent Peppa Pig make people laugh," Chen said. "It's an act of subculture rebellion."

'Subversive hue'

If Peppa's popularity is all a joke, the government doesn't seem to be getting it.

Global Times remarked that the Peppa gangster meme has a "subversive hue" that could "potentially hamper positive societal morale."

China already has one of the world's most controlled online environments, and censors have been intensifying efforts to rein in the country's fast-growing social media after President Xi Jinping called for the creation of a "clean cyberspace."

Online content that has fallen victim to tightened censorship rules includes LGBT and feminist voices, hip hop and "vulgar" jokes -- a trend that's affected some of China's biggest and hottest online platforms, and alarmed business analysts and rights monitors.

The Peppa Pig series was officially introduced to China in 2015 by China's state broadcaster CCTV. Its popularity quickly exploded among young children and parents, with 34 billion views on the three leading domestic online video platforms combined.

West Lafayette
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 89°
Kokomo
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 85°
Rensselaer
Overcast
81° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 86°
Fowler
Overcast
81° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 86°
Williamsport
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 92°
Crawfordsville
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 83°
Frankfort
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 83°
Delphi
Broken Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 87°
Monticello
Broken Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 87°
Logansport
Scattered Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 89°
Active Weather Pattern for the Work Week.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 74328

Reported Deaths: 3041
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15860725
Lake7570275
Elkhart484384
Allen3902163
St. Joseph350081
Hamilton2763104
Vanderburgh196313
Hendricks1887108
Cass17959
Johnson1757118
Porter131639
Clark123347
Tippecanoe121111
Madison97965
LaPorte91130
Howard89065
Kosciusko85212
Bartholomew79347
Marshall78422
Floyd77946
Monroe75630
Delaware73052
Dubois69612
Boone67846
Noble67829
Hancock66038
Vigo65110
Jackson5865
Warrick58130
LaGrange55910
Shelby55327
Grant52630
Dearborn50828
Morgan47634
Clinton4343
Henry38320
Wayne37710
White36910
Montgomery35421
Lawrence34627
Harrison33823
Decatur33732
Putnam2888
Miami2742
Daviess27320
Scott26810
Greene25034
Jasper2432
Franklin24214
DeKalb2324
Gibson2254
Jennings22512
Steuben2103
Ripley2087
Carroll1912
Fayette1897
Perry18612
Starke1787
Orange17124
Posey1710
Wabash1693
Fulton1682
Wells1682
Jefferson1632
Knox1540
Whitley1526
Washington1401
Tipton13810
Spencer1363
Sullivan1261
Huntington1223
Randolph1224
Clay1215
Newton11810
Adams1012
Jay910
Owen901
Pulaski831
Rush804
Fountain742
Brown731
Ohio655
Blackford642
Benton610
Pike530
Switzerland520
Vermillion520
Parke511
Crawford450
Martin450
Union410
Warren221
Unassigned0206

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events