China potentially pulling Peppa Pig books in Communist party crackdown

It's reported that the reduction is an attempt to reduce the inflow of Western idealogy

China potentially pulling Peppa Pig books in Communist party crackdown

John Stillwell/PA Archive/PA Images

Children's character books - featuring Peppa Pig and Winnie the Pooh - could be pulled from shelves in China amid reports publishers are coming under pressure from the Communist Party.

Foreign story books are being tackled by the political party in an aggressive new campaign against Western ideals. According to Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, Chinese publishers have received orders that the number of foreign picture books being printed in China must be reduced.

Sources say the supply of books from outside of China would be "very limited", with Communist party officials complaining that foreign storybooks had caused an intolerable “inflow of ideology” from the west.

“[The government] has deliberately decided to constrain imported books and protect those written by Chinese authors,” the source added.

Editors have cast doubts on whether Beijing will successfully enforce the prohibition of children’s books.

“I can’t imagine this restriction to be possible, because its implementation is so difficult, and it also has no benefit whatsoever for the people or the country,” one Chinese editor said.

With about 220 million under-14s and a rapidly growing middle class, China is home to a potentially massive market for children’s picture books. More than 40,000 children’s books were reportedly published here last year alone.

On Friday, e-commerce giant Alibaba announced it would ban the sale of all foreign publications on Taobao, one of China’s most popular online shopping sites in order “to create a safe and secure online shopping environment to enhance consumer confidence and satisfaction”.

'The China Dream'

Since Xi Jinping became the country’s top leader in 2012, vowing to promote what he has called “the China Dream”, efforts to stave off the influx of foreign cultural influences have intensified.

Xi has declared that Chinese universities must become Communist party strongholds while education minister Yuan Guiren has warned that “enemy forces” are attempting to infiltrate hearts and minds on the country’s campuses.