Around the Web

Peppa Pig: Why a pink cartoon pig was banned in China for encouraging subversion

A video-sharing platform in China recently removed more than 30,000 clips of the children’s cartoon, and any mention of it.

Play

What do Winnie the Pooh and Peppa Pig have in common? Well, apart from being adorable and wildly popular children’s cartoon, both the cartoons have been removed from Chinese social media platforms.

Peppa Pig is the latest victim of the censorship crackdown on Chinese social media after Douyin, a video sharing platform in China, recently removed more than 30,000 clips of the children’s cartoon. Douyin didn’t just remove the clips but the hashtag #PeppaPig was also removed from the website.

What could a harmless pink cartoon pig, especially the one in the video above, have done to deserve such a fate? According to Global Times, a state-run newspaper, the cartoon started to take on a “subversive hue” after it became the subject of counterculture memes, tattoos, viral content and merchandise, which were even endorsed by several celebrities. Unexpectedly, Peppa Pig became a subversive icon on Chinese social media.

“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,” wrote Global Times. It also wrote that the kind of people who indulge in said memes, tattoos or Peppa-related jokes are “the antithesis of the young generation the party tries to cultivate”.

But the state’s problem with Peppa Pig wasn’t just about memes or tattoos. Thanks to the popularity of the British cartoon, which has attracted some 34 billion views on Chinese online video platforms, the show started to gather popularity with adults. Eventually, fan videos and memes with violent, sexual or explicit undertones started surfacing, resulting in what the media called deviance and manipulation among Chinese youths. In a country where pornography is strictly banned, things didn’t look good for Peppa Pig. And under President Xi Jinpig’s rule, the Chinese government has been cracking down heavily on online content to ensure a healthy online culture.

According to CNN, an internal Douyin memo dated last week said censors demanded the platform stop publishing videos that showed Peppa Pig “spreading negative social influence”. Chen Nian, an analyst in a consultancy which monitors Chinese social media, told CNN, “The contradictory traits of a ‘thug’ and the innocent Peppa Pig make people laugh. It’s an act of subculture rebellion.”

However, users in China may already have a replacement for Peppa Pig. According to BBC, Sina Weibo has been extensively promoting a “friendly domestic pig cartoon” called “Little Pig Dodo” which may be a state-friendly response to Peppa Pig.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

The qualities of a high-performance luxury sedan

A lesson in harnessing tremendous power to deliver high performance.

Gone are the days when the rich and successful would network during a round of golf, at least in the Silicon Valley. As reported by New York Times, ‘auto-racing has become a favourite hobby for the tech elites’. However, getting together on a race track would require a machine that provides control while testing extreme limits. Enter the Mercedes-AMG range of cars.

Mercedes-AMG’s rise from a racing outfit to a manufacturer of peak performance cars is dotted with innovations that have pushed the boundaries of engineering. While the AMG series promises a smooth driving experience, its core is made up of a passion for motorsports and a spirit that can be summarized in two words – power and performance. These integral traits draw like-minded people who share and express Mercedes-AMG’s style of performance.

The cars we drive say a lot about us, it’s been said. There are several qualities of an AMG performance luxury sedan that overlap with the qualities of its distinguished owner. For instance, creating an impression comes naturally to both, so does the ambition to always deliver an exceptional performance. However, the strongest feature is that both the owner and the AMG marque continually challenge themselves in pursuit of new goals, stretching the limits of performance.

This winning quality comes alive, especially, in the latest Mercedes-AMG marque – the Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4MATIC+. With the most powerful engine to have ever been installed in an E-class, this undisputed performance sedan promises immense power at the driver’s command. With 612 HP under its hood, the car achieves 0-100 km/h in just a few seconds - 3.4 to be precise. Moreover, the car comes with the latest driver-assistance technology that promises intelligent control and provides an agile and responsive ride.

But, the new AMG is not just about work (or traction in car lingo). One of its core features is to provide its owners a challenge on the race track. Its drift mode, which converts the vehicle into a pure rear-wheel drive, offers pure exhilaration and adds a work-play dynamic to the car. In that sense, the new AMG is a collaborator of sorts - one that partners with its owner to create an impression through performance. And on the weekends, the car pushes him/her to express absolute power using its race mode with a thunderous roar of the engine - the pure sound of adrenalin. This balance between work and play has been achieved using cutting-edge features in the car that together create an almost intuitive driver-machine relationship.

If you’re looking for a car that shares your enthusiasm for driving, you’ll find a partner in the new AMG. However, buying an AMG is not just about owning a powerhouse on wheels, it’s also about adopting a driving philosophy in which power is just the starting point - the main skill lies in how you manoeuvre that power on the road. A performance sedan in its sportiest form, Mercedes-AMG’s latest model takes vehicle performance to an unmatched level. A decade ago, this amount of speed and power in a luxury 4-door model would be un-thinkable.

Play

The new Mercedes-AMG comes with a host of individualisation options through designo, the artistic side of Mercedes’s innovation, so the car becomes an extension of the owner’s distinctive personality. An expressive design with a new radiator grille and a muscular front apron showcase its athleticism. A new-age driver environment, widescreen cockpit, the AMG performance steering wheel and sports seat delivers an intensive driving experience. With the Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4MATIC+, AMG has created an undisputed performance sedan that can rip the race track as well as provide reliable luxury sedan-duty. To know more about the most powerful E-class of all time, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Mercedes-Benz and not by the Scroll editorial team.