Things that are Banned in China

Can you name these things that have been censored or banned in China?
This is a complicated topic. This quiz does NOT suggest that these things are always or completely banned.
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: November 15, 2019
First submittedNovember 15, 2019
Times taken13,958
Rating4.48
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Answer
References to this island as an independent nation
Taiwan
References to the independence of this mountainous region
Tibet
This grey-haired actor who has often campaigned for the independence of the above
Richard Gere
References to this 1989 massacre
Tiananmen Square
This religious and exercise movement
Falun Gong
This lovable children's bear
Winnie-the-Pooh
The album "Chinese Democracy" by this American rock band
Guns N' Roses
This movie about two gay cowboys
Brokeback Mountain
Films that refer to time travel such as this 1985 movie
Back to the Future
This website founded by Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook
This video site owned by Google
Youtube
Websites about a scandal in which this beverage was tainted
Milk
This "rebirth" into a new corporeal form (without government approval)
Reincarnation
This white flower that is often used to flavor green tea
Jasmine
Having more than one of these (until 2016)
Children
This 2009 movie, once the top-grossing of all time, because it was too popular
Avatar
This Canadian singer, for "bad behavior"
Justin Bieber
This George Orwell book about Communist pigs
Animal Farm
This online encyclopedia
Wikipedia
Worshiping this religious figure who fled to India in 1959
Dalai Lama
+33
Level 74
Nov 15, 2019
Top quiz! Love the fact Jetpunk always recognises Taiwan as an independent state.
+9
Level 43
Nov 15, 2019
Freaking China...Why youtube or avatar or wikipedia, lol
+17
Level 70
Nov 16, 2019
You can access information about the outside world on them
+16
Level 52
Dec 6, 2019
Avatar?
+3
Level 23
Feb 6, 2020
I guess because avatar is about someone who rebels against the government
+20
Level 82
Nov 15, 2019
Watch it QM! Just making this quiz will put Jetpunk on the list! :-)
+7
Level 74
Nov 15, 2019
It's probably already there...
+16
Level ∞
Nov 15, 2019
I checked and apparently we are not banned in China. Not 100% sure if the service I used to check is accurate, though.
+34
Level 70
Nov 16, 2019
@ Quizmaster - it works here. Just not very well. It's really slow and I usually can't see my results when a quiz ends. Thank Mao for VPNs.
+9
Level 70
Feb 5, 2020
@Quizmaster Foreign websites aren’t banned by default, they are only banned once it is found that they violate internal CCP guidelines and they become popular enough to be noticed by Chinese censors. If many Chinese citizens start using Jetpunk, then it will eventually get banned, but for now it is flying under the radar due to only a few Chinese users and the lack of direct messaging capabilities.
+2
Level 51
Mar 5, 2020
I'm from China. Not yet.
+5
Level 78
Nov 15, 2019
I actually thought they would be on their blacklist due to the Taiwan issue
+17
Level 70
Nov 20, 2019
If the site ever started to get remotely popular, it'd be banned for sure
+10
Level 82
Nov 15, 2019
And it's timely, considering all the Hong Kong/NBA kowtowing and hyper-sensitivity going on right now. It boggles my mind the lengths to which the communist party there will go in order to fully control their population.
+1
Level 71
Nov 15, 2019
Typo on Zuckerberg!
+1
Level ∞
Nov 15, 2019
Okay
+3
Level 57
Nov 15, 2019
Actually Christianity is also not allowed in the country, not only Falun Gong
+2
Level ∞
Nov 15, 2019
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_religion_in_China
+12
Level 70
Nov 16, 2019
It's allowed. Kinda. Churches aren't allowed to place God/Jesus/the pope etc as being higher than the glorious party, and churches regularly get shut down as a result, and most aren't allowed to display crosses on their roofs anymore, but it's allowed.
+2
Level 67
Feb 5, 2020
That's interesting, not putting god/Jesus etc above the party kind of contradicts one of the main rules of christianity.
+4
Level 68
Nov 17, 2019
I believe it's only the independent house churches that are banned. Churches have to be registered and approved by the state.
+1
Level 45
Feb 5, 2020
China either bans religion when it is considered a threat to the system, or allows and controls it to help maintaining the system. You can see both aspects with Islam. Uyghurs have almost no right of worshiping because they demand independence, while in the rest of the country there are many mosques, mosques that are fully controlled by the Chinese government. Only Imams trained by the state are allowed to lead the prayer and they are only allowed to speak about purely spiritual stuff, nothing that is linked to society or politics. They also need to consistently praise the government to keep their positions, so they basically becomes tools of the state propaganda. What's unfortunate is that Muslims have been part of China history for a very long time (it entered China a few decades after Muhammad's death) and they had always enjoyed religious freedom and state protection before the communists took over.
+18
Level 70
Nov 16, 2019
I read the caveats, but Winnie the Pooh being banned is a complete myth. It's absolutely everywhere here. Winnie the Pooh memes/references to Xi looking like him, however, are completely banned. This quiz definitely has potential for a 10 part series though, unfortunately.
+1
Level 74
Nov 18, 2019
The Winnie the Pooh one does seem bizarre.

I believe the 1 child policy was only for certain families? And it wasn't exactly banned, but would exclude those certain families from benefits that they might otherwise receive if they stuck to the policy?

And what the hell is up with "banning reincarnation"?!
+3
Level 73
Nov 18, 2019
That is quite relevant in the decision process whether you're the next Dalai Lama or not.
+4
Level 68
Nov 22, 2019
roleybob, watch John Oliver's episode of Last Week Tonight on one-child policy. They did quite a detailed research on the topic. People who had a second child had to pay a fine which equaled the income for a couple of years. There was also one really harrowing story about a woman forced to "abort" her baby in the ninth month of pregnancy, because it turned out that her husband had a child from a previous marriage.
+1
Level 74
Dec 24, 2019
I don't know whether we can get Last Week Tonight over here. Don't think I'd heard of it before anyway.

I was under the impression that there were a lot of exemptions to the policy - anyone who didn't live in a city, anyone non-Han, etc. I may be mistaken though
+1
Level 72
Feb 5, 2020
+1
Level 64
Feb 8, 2020
The one child policy applied to all Han Chinese. High fines and forced abortions still help enforce birth limits. Many families hid their unapproved children, but now millions of these internally undocumented individuals face an uphill battle for survival. In a country where you can't use public transportation, education, or health care without an ID card, it is pretty tough to get anything done.
+9
Level 69
Nov 17, 2019
Now do the things that are banned in the United States!
+7
Level 67
Feb 5, 2020
Guns, ow wait..
+9
Level 82
Feb 5, 2020
Toy guns for children that shouldn't actually be able to kill anyone: banned.

Real guns that actually can kill people: not banned.

America's great!

+7
Level 62
Feb 5, 2020
Kinder Eggs
+1
Level 50
Feb 5, 2020
Kendal mint cake
+2
Level 73
Nov 17, 2019
As the standards seem to be a bit loose here, you could add "free gaming", too. Up to a certain age, govt has demanded limitations in time (per day: 90min on working day, 3 hours on weekends, if my memory serves right). It's a fairly recent addition. It could go under "form of entertainment" or something such.
+6
Level 63
Nov 18, 2019
I agree with them on one thing: The Canadian singer.
+1
Level 81
Nov 18, 2019
A few things to point out having lived in China. Never heard of Avatar being banned but I now read it is a combination of taking too much money from domestic films and because it showed them resisting demolition which China does enforce pretty strongly so the latter would seem to be the more important reason. Never had a problem with using Jetpunk despite the Taiwan thing and Jasmine tea is everywhere.
+2
Level 80
Dec 13, 2019
I wonder why they ban film references to time travel.
+6
Level 75
Feb 4, 2020
Yeah interesting. Total guess but maybe they don't like fiction that plays with the idea of the past being changed and other realities being possible?
+1
Level 57
Feb 5, 2020
Like that is not the basis of their government cough cough 1984
+3
Level 79
Feb 5, 2020
They say it will confuse the audience if they see the timeline being messed with in different ways. Specifically the time travel cannot refer to or especially interfere with real-world events. Any references to historical events must conform to or at least be compatible with Chinese state propaganda.
+2
Level 82
Feb 5, 2020
Which is funny when you learn that the highest grossing foreign film in China heavily deals with time travel.
+6
Level 61
Jan 22, 2020
What on earth is their problem with jasmine? Is it that jasmine tea is not an original Chinese thing but since everyone else thinks it is and serves it up at Chinese restaurants it is now Chinese even in China?
+1
Level 57
Feb 5, 2020
I thought it was weird too. Some research discovered that it relates to the 2011 "Jasmine Revolution" in Tunisia, and the word jasmine took on associations with revolutions, freedom, democracy, and the like. I wonder how they refer to jasmine tea in China now then...?
+2
Level 70
Feb 5, 2020
This quiz includes some answers where only the reference to that object is known to have been censored under certain situations. Jasmine tea isn’t banned in China and you could discuss it as much as you want in person. I bet that if you talked about jasmine tea on Weibo that it wouldn’t be censored either (unless it happened to align with other references that made the government suspect that you are speaking in code). It’s mainly that in the past it was heavily censored due to worries that the Arab Spring would spread to China.
+10
Level 68
Jan 31, 2020
They banned Bieber? I have new found respect for China.
+1
Level 17
Feb 5, 2020
Argentina did it -once
+3
Level 71
Feb 5, 2020
Tried crossfit for number 5.
+3
Level 60
Feb 5, 2020
I wonder how many applications the government gets every year for reincarnation (and how many they approve)?
+1
Level 57
Feb 5, 2020
I would apply
+2
Level 64
Feb 8, 2020
I'm not sure that they actually ban it. You just have to go through their approval processes first! In fact, they are currently ordering the current Dalai Lama to reincarnate while he threatens not to. They really want to handpick and manipulate the next one. When the last Panchen Lama was named as a child, he disappeared. And then the government named their own! Of course, Tibetans generally reject the Chinese version. It is really ironic to see the Dalai Lama--who believes in reincarnation--trying to control and resist the possibility and the Communist--who don't believe in it--demanding that it happen. The "compromise" will probably be naming someone outside of China as the successor. India, Nepal, and Bhutan all have significant Tibetan Buddhist populations.
+1
Level 72
Feb 11, 2020
Tibetan Buddhist here! (That is, I practice Tibetan Buddhism; I’m not actually Tibetan. Think Richard Gere, but cooler.) Basically, high incarnate lamas such as the Dalai Lama and the Karmapa have a great deal of political clout and power (the Dalai Lama had been – for many centuries – the temporal head of the Tibetan people as well as the spiritual, until the current one stepped down as political leader and told his people to get over it and embrace democracy, for crying out loud). All of these high lamas have escaped China over the decades, usually with dramatic nighttime exoduses, traveling through the Himalayas to get to India.

Now free of China, these lamas can say anything they want, like how China slaughtered most of them and burned down hundreds of monasteries, et al. In order to prevent this, the Chinese want to ensure that any new recognized incarnations are in their country, under their control (like their fake Panchen Lama), and not stir up any Tibetan uprisings.

+1
Level 72
Feb 11, 2020
(con’t.) So actually, AkJMB actually has it backwards: the Chinese are only going to “approve” rebirths (we like that word better than “reincarnation”) born in China.

From Wikipedia:

On August 3, 2007, China's State Administration for Religious Affairs issued a decree that all the reincarnations of tulkus of Tibetan Buddhism must get government approval, otherwise they are "illegal or invalid". The decree states, "It is an important move to institutionalize management on reincarnation of living Buddhas. The selection of reincarnates must preserve national unity and solidarity of all ethnic groups and the selection process cannot be influenced by any group or individual from outside the country."

Yeah, so, you get it.

+1
Level 72
Feb 11, 2020
(Last one!) Tibetan Buddhism is actually souring on the whole reincarnate lama (aka “tulku”) system as a whole. (Buddhism in general is fairly flexible like that.) It’s had some serious problems, both historically as well as today. HHDL has been pretty bearish on his own personal future rebirth, saying that even if he did, it would NOT be under Chinese rule (and yes, there are Western tulkus). Plus he’s been preparing people for the possibility of his rebirth being a woman! There are definitely high women tulkus (including one of my teachers, Her Eminence Khandro Rinpoche), just not that high.

Other Buddhist traditions (Zen, Theravada, Pure Land, etc.) rely only on accomplishment and worthiness to elevate people to revered teacher. The Tibetans were utterly isolated until 1949, but now, seeing that system, are coming to realize that it’s a much, much better idea.

+1
Level 72
Feb 11, 2020
And now you know more about the Chinese’s attempted takeover of the Tibetan tulku system than you ever actually wanted to! :-)
+1
Level 67
Mar 21, 2020
Interesting, actually read the whole thing and usually I dont like big blocks of text. But usually they are more political or minute historic details, and often written with ego and attitude and about them being right.

just informative texts without ego motivation are a much lighter read. I have learned a lot :)

+1
Level 17
Feb 5, 2020
A little surprise that they banned Avatar, kinda don't care because i've never see that movie nor know someone have seen it
+1
Level 62
Feb 6, 2020
Don't bother seeing it either, it's awful.
+1
Level 67
Mar 21, 2020
Yea the worst movie ever made.. (sarcasm). I seriously don't get why people call things awful when they are not in their personal top 10. Things that are not perfect or fitting their desire are immediately awful.., makes me wonder how they treat people and their general approach to life.

out of the millions movies made, for something to be awful they really must be terribly unimaginably bad. A movie isnt awful because you find it boring or dont like the plot etc

+1
Level 58
Feb 5, 2020
Didn't get Bieber as I couldn't think of any Canadian - singer or otherwise - who could possibly be accused of bad behaviour.
+4
Level 79
Feb 5, 2020
he was my first guess.
+1
Level 57
Feb 5, 2020
I'm soooooo proud of knowing milk to be the answer XD. Interesting fact, most Chinese people are lactose-intolerant, nevertheless milk is portrayed as ultra-healthy (for real, who cares if it makes you puke and get horrible stomach aches, it's healthy)
+4
Level 79
Feb 5, 2020
Depictions of skeletons are also apparently forbidden. Magic: the Gathering cards featuring them that are reprinted for sale in China must have the artwork redone so that there is some flesh still on the skeletal form.
+9
Level 72
Feb 5, 2020
That sounds scarier than just skeletons.
+1
Level 60
Feb 5, 2020
I thought the Canadian singer would be K.D. Lang simply for being a lesbian. The thought of banning Bieber, just seems to give to much importance to someone who is essentially a joke.
+1
Level 52
Feb 5, 2020
Good concept! If I was to add some it would be video game consoles since they were banned from 2000 to 2015. As for specific games I recall Hearts of Iron being banned for depicting Taiwan and Japanese satellite state as being independent.
+1
Level 63
Feb 5, 2020
I live in China and just took this quiz here. I do own a slightly large Winnie-the-Pooh, which I place on my sofa in the living room.
+1
Level 67
Feb 5, 2020
So is the ban a lie or are you taking a risk?
+1
Level 64
Feb 5, 2020
It's all about context. He's used to mock the leader of the CCP.
+3
Level 63
Feb 6, 2020
I think the ban is only on the comparison of the Pooh with the leader of the CCP.
+1
Level 67
Mar 21, 2020
His couch has declared independence and the ban doesn't apply there.

but rumours are that even in that small territory there are internal struggles. One part want to call it futonia and the other couchia

+1
Level 67
Feb 5, 2020
Man what a stupid country. I hate when some kind of a dictator or a government etc. comes on top of you and decides what you can and can not do. Take away their power to enforce and all you get is an empty disgusting egoistic shell.
+1
Level 65
Feb 5, 2020
In every country, the Government decides about what you can do or not, not only in China. Some Governments are just less strict than others.
+1
Level 59
Feb 5, 2020
I wo*der what else is ba**ed in Chi*a.
+3
Level 70
Feb 6, 2020
Not the letter n, that’s for sure.
+1
Level 59
Feb 5, 2020
There are certainly some things in here that seem odd that I needed to look up. It seems that the Chinese government doesn't really like to explain why they censor things (which I guess makes sense to some extent because that would defeat the purpose of censorship in the first place).
+2
Level 48
Feb 6, 2020
What are your sources?
+1
Level ∞
Feb 6, 2020
Mostly Wikipedia. This quiz can never be definitive because (believe it or not) the Chinese government doesn't actually say what it censors.
+1
Level 72
Feb 10, 2020
But also because Wikipedia.
+1
Level 51
Mar 5, 2020
Actually, the ban on winnie-the-pooh has been lifted, and i didn't realize avatar has ever been banned. I just checked and avatar is available now.
+1
Level 51
Mar 5, 2020
Also, Brokeback Mountain and Back to the Future are both also available now.
+1
Level 45
Apr 8, 2020
Is only animal farm banned, or is 1984 banned too?
+1
Level 28
Jun 21, 2020
up.