In Japan, Winnie the Pooh joins China's lockdown protests The online store offers shirts, mugs and other products that can be customized with an image of Pooh holding up a blank white sheet of paper, the symbol of China's lockdown protests.

Japan's Disney store sells merchandise of Winnie the Pooh supporting China's protests

Japan's Disney store is selling merchandise featuring Winnie the Pooh holding up a sheet of blank white paper, a symbol of the anti-government protests in China. Screenshot of Japan's Disney Store website hide caption

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Screenshot of Japan's Disney Store website

Japan's Disney store is selling merchandise featuring Winnie the Pooh holding up a sheet of blank white paper, a symbol of the anti-government protests in China.

Screenshot of Japan's Disney Store website

Winnie the Pooh is joining the protests against China's "zero-COVID" policy.

Japan's Disney store is now selling merchandise online that features Winnie the Pooh holding up a blank white sheet of paper — a symbol of China's lockdown protests.

The products are created through Disney's MADE program, which the product descriptions call "D-MADE" and allows people to customize their own Disney merchandise. The collection includes hoodies, shirts, tote bags and mugs.

The merchandise is not being sold on the U.S. Disney site under personalized products featuring Pooh.

Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Protesters raise blank papers as they march in protest in Beijing on Nov. 27. The white paper symbolizes a silent protest against the Chinese government's heavy-handed enforcement of free speech. Ng Han Guan/AP hide caption

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Ng Han Guan/AP

Protesters raise blank papers as they march in protest in Beijing on Nov. 27. The white paper symbolizes a silent protest against the Chinese government's heavy-handed enforcement of free speech.

Ng Han Guan/AP

Demonstrations in China erupted on Nov. 25 after a fire in an apartment building killed 10 people in the Xinjiang region amid stringent lockdowns that kept people stuck in their homes for more than three months. Since then, demonstrators in several of the nation's cities have taken to the streets to demand the end of COVID-19 restrictions and the resignation of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Some people have been holding up blank papers during the protests to represent a call for free speech and a common message of resistance that needs no words, because "everyone knows."

In Japan's Disney store, Winnie the Pooh appears to be doing just the same, bearing a more serious face than his typical smiling one. Hundreds of people in Japan have protested in solidarity with the anti-lockdown demonstrations in China.

A sticker depicting Winnie the Pooh holding a blank paper was placed on a post as demonstrators protested in front of the Chinese Embassy in solidarity with protesters in China on Saturday in Berlin, Germany. Omer Messinger/Getty Images hide caption

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Omer Messinger/Getty Images

A sticker depicting Winnie the Pooh holding a blank paper was placed on a post as demonstrators protested in front of the Chinese Embassy in solidarity with protesters in China on Saturday in Berlin, Germany.

Omer Messinger/Getty Images

This activist Pooh is an adaptation of a 2013 viral meme of Pooh reading a blank white paper while squinting his eyes and appearing confused.

People have been likening Xi to the chubby bear for years, making the beloved character a highly politicized figure in China. In 2013, people compared a photo of Xi and former President Barack Obama walking alongside each other to an image of Pooh and Tigger. China censored the Chinese name for Winnie the Pooh and animated gifs of the bear on social media platforms in 2017, giving no official explanation.