How much do you know about China? What you might not realize is that there are so many rules and regulations, and countless things have been banned in the country.
There are so many amazing countries in this world, and it’s often strange to think of the fact that there are billions of other people spread out across the globe. After all, it’s pretty easy to get sucked into your own little bubble where you simply get on with your own life and think about where your own existence is taking you. However, that doesn’t mean that these other people don’t exist, and there are a huge number of people who live in China.
In fact, there are over 1.3 billion people in China, and these people get to live in a country that boasts the Great Wall of China, the bustling city of Beijing, giant pandas, and ancient traditions. Because of this, oodles of people make their way to this country every single year to see it for themselves. What most tourists and non-natives don’t realize is that there are many rules and regulations when you visit this place. Many items, actions, and services have been banned in the country, and some of them may surprise you.
Until recently, Avatar was the highest-grossing movie of all time. While it’s still in a firm place just below Avengers: Endgame, there’s no doubt about the fact that the 2010 movie struggled to make its mark in China. This James Cameron creation was an instant hit in China when it was first released, but before we knew, the 2D film had been banned from movie theaters.
This meant that those who hadn’t got the chance to see the film were stripped of their chance to head to Pandora and hang out with the Na’vi tribe. While the government suggested that this was because they wanted to give national movies a chance to succeed in theaters, many believed that they wanted to censor the content.
The idea of traveling back or forward in time is something that’s extremely exciting to most people. That’s why films such as Back to the Future, The Terminator, Harry Potter, and Star Trek have all taken the world by storm. Unfortunately, the people of China don’t have the pleasure of watching Doc Brown engage his flux capacitor and travel back in time.
That’s because the idea of time travel is completely banned in China, and anything suggesting or hinting to this process will be immediately censored. It’s believed that these movies are “frivolous,” and they are considered to be disrespectful to the history of the country.
The letter “N”
The alphabet is something that has made its mark across the world, and there’s no doubt about the fact that most people know all of the letters in the alphabet. In fact, you can’t spell the name of this country without using the letter “N” – but that didn’t stop the Chinese government from briefly banning the letter.
The letter was banned in a clampdown on censorship that involved the President, and it didn’t take long for whole words to also be banned. These included words and phrases such as “ascend the throne” and “immortality,” and these were officially banned in 2018. However, the letter “N” was reinstated just a few days after it was banned.
Internet use for military personnel
Many people across the globe take their ability to log onto the internet and search anything they want online for granted. After all, it’s just become a part of everyday life. However, the same can’t be said for military personnel in China. The government is extremely protective of their soldiers and others who work within the military and have tried to keep them safe and secure at all costs.
One of the ways they have done this is by restricting their use of the internet. These people are not allowed to use the internet at all, as it supposedly stops any military secrets from being leaked. This means that they are not allowed to seek love interests, talk to friends, or even search for jobs online.
Winnie the Pooh
We have a feeling that most people would agree that Winnie the Pooh is one of the most harmless fictional characters out there. After all, he just wants to eat honey and be happy. However, the President of this country hasn’t taken too kindly to the fact that people across the world have compared his appearance to that of the adorable bear in the red T-shirt.
To stop it from happening, he has banned any mention of Winnie the Pooh. Those who try to search the fictional character online will immediately be faced with an error message, and everything about this little guy has been censored.
China has a vast and varied history, and it’s fair to say that some of the events in the past have resulted in devastating consequences. However, the Chinese government is pretty specific when it comes to their history and what they want people to remember.
Despite the fact that countless people made their way into the streets to march against the government in 1989, this has been scratched from the history books and online resources. Numerous people lost their lives in this march, and it’s believed that the government has attempted to erase the fact that this happened at all.
Most people can’t live without social media in their lives, and if you’re a fan of Instagram, you may be surprised to learn that the platform has been banned in China. Yes, anyone who tries to use the app in the country will be faced with an error message, and it’s not even available to download on the app store.
It’s believed that this social media censorship occurred after the government realized that social media could be used by citizens to turn on those in power. By limiting the amount of interaction and communication that people can have, this reduces the chance of them ever being overthrown by the masses. Other social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are also banned.
Having more than one child
There are three kinds of people in this world. There are those who want to fill their homes with as many children as they can possibly manage. Then, there are those who are quite happy to live a child-free existence because parenthood just doesn’t appeal to them. Finally, there are those who live in China.
While those who live in China aren’t told whether they can or can’t bring a child into the world, there are rules they have to abide by if they want to open up their homes to little ones. During the 1970s, a law was passed that made it illegal for any family to have more than one child. While this has since been relaxed to two children, there are still stringent rules in place.
George Orwell is often regarded as one of the most influential authors to ever grace this world, but it seems as though the Chinese government doesn’t think the same. After writing books such as 1984 and Animal Farm, Orwell made a name for himself as one who wasn’t afraid to speak out – and that’s not something that the Chinese government condones.
Animal Farm was officially banned in the country in 2018, as they believed that those who read the book would be inspired to try and overthrow the government. The book is still banned today, and you won’t be able to find a copy of it anywhere.
Most of the time, we don’t even think about the fact that we use Google all day, every day. It’s incredibly easy for us to simply jump onto our laptops or our phones and search for something we really want to know or understand, and it’s just become a way of life.
Yet, things aren’t quite the same in China. Alongside most social media sites, Google and its subsidiaries – such as YouTube – are also banned. Anyone attempting to use these sites will not be able to do so, as the addresses are completely blocked. Could you imagine your life without being able to use Google every day?
It’s amazing to think of the things that the Chinese government has banned over the years, but this is perhaps one of the strangest rulings. Back in 2016, the government decided that they didn’t want their country to be plagued by “oversized, xenocentric” and “weird buildings.
Because of this, they noted that construction plans that featured these designs would no longer be approved by the government and that they would instead focus on building other projects that would suit their wants and needs properly. Today, they supposedly only focus on “suitable, economic, green” buildings that are also “pleasing to the eye.”
Alice in Wonderland
When children read Alice in Wonderland, they are amazed by Lewis Carroll’s eccentric upside-down world of tea parties and talking animals. While those who know a little more about the books will know that this story and the concept isn’t quite as PG as you would think, there’s no doubt about the fact that most people still enjoy reading about Alice and her trip to Wonderland.
However, you won’t catch any Chinese children reading this story or watching these movies anytime soon. That’s because Alice in Wonderland has actually been banned in the Hunan Province, as the government believes that animals “should not use human language,” because it puts humans and animals “on the same level.”
It’s hard to believe that the Chinese government has banned so many things, but perhaps the most bizarre banning came in the form of the reincarnation ban. In 2007, the government decided that they didn’t want Tibetan monks to be reincarnated without prior authorization.
Of course, this didn’t go down well with monks and the Dalai Lama himself, who was quick to hit back at the new ruling. The Dalai Lama noted that the government had absolutely no right to implement such a thing, and had no power to choose whether a person would be granted reincarnation approval or not. Nevertheless, this rule is still in place.
Whether you’ve never gambled in your life, or whether you like to place your bets every so often, you don’t have to be a genius to know that gambling is an extremely popular pastime. While people travel across the world to check out Las Vegas or Monaco, not many people know that Macau is also a haven for those who like to try their hand.
Although gambling is completely illegal in China, the region of Macau is actually a special administrative region. This means that they can make their own rules and regulations, and they can entice people to gamble in their luxury casinos and their bustling nightlife. Of course, that hasn’t stopped China from trying to put an end to Macau’s thriving business.
If you’re a fan of home decoration, wedding planning, or even fashionable looks, there’s a high chance that you’re familiar with Pinterest. This website and app is largely harmless and allows users to “pin” the things that they like on their own public boards.
Millions of people around the globe use Pinterest on a regular basis, but those in China don’t have the chance to catch up on the latest recipes. That’s because Pinterest has been banned, and has been banned since 2017. While it’s not known exactly why they decided to ban it, many suggest that it’s just another way of censoring what those in China see online.
If you’re up to date with the latest goings-on in the world of cryptocurrency, you’ll know that Bitcoin is an ever-growing currency that seems to be taking the market by storm. Many people and businesses around the world are adding Bitcoin to their purses, and it seems as though people are even trading with this new form of currency.
Unfortunately, that isn’t the case in China. In 2018, the country announced that they would not allow any of their citizens to deal with the form of cryptocurrency. In fact, all websites that showcase information or allow people to buy and sell Bitcoin have also been banned.
The Big Bang Theory
Over the years, the Chinese government has banned numerous American television shows and movies. These include shows such as The Practice, NCIS, The Good Wife, and The Big Bang Theory. This may come as a surprise to some people, considering The Big Bang Theory is one of the most popular sitcoms that America has to offer.
The cast and the crew of this show took much of the world by storm over the course of its twelve-year run, but it seems as though the Chinese government doesn’t find it funny. In fact, they noted that the content on this show “Violates China’s constitution, endangers the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.” Yikes.
Do you have children? If you do, you may have watched a few episodes of the children’s show, Peppa Pig. This show follows the life of a talking pig and her family, and young children across the world seem to absolutely love her. However, children in China won’t be watching Peppa anytime soon.
That’s because the show was banned in the country in 2018. This new rule came about after the President and his government realized that the image of this cartoon pig was being used by people they call “shehuiren.” They believe that these people hold “anti-establishment views” and that their use of Peppa Pig would promote gangster attitudes.
Of course, we don’t mean all celebrities. While most famous faces are free to take a trip to China and explore the wonders of this country, there are others who aren’t quite so welcome. For decades, China and Tibet have been at loggerheads with each other, and this has caused a huge amount of friction across the world.
There are many celebs who sympathize with Tibet and have shown their support publicly, and these are the ones who aren’t allowed entry. The likes of Richard Gere, Brad Pitt, and Martin Scorsese have all been banned from the country – so don’t expect to see them having a wander around the Great Wall of China anytime soon.
Online streaming services
You have to wonder what Chinese citizens get up to when they’ve got some free time, as much of the entertainment we take for granted are banned. This also includes online streaming services and iBooks, and these things were banned when the Chinese government decided to take a much stricter stance on foreign media.
While most of these things are banned, it’s been suggested that the government has brought in a new system whereby foreign companies can submit their online content for approval. It’s believed that the government wants to keep their citizens away from these influential movies, books, and TV shows, and keep them content with national entertainment.
If you celebrate Christmas, you’ll know that this time of the year is filled with all kinds of festive cheer. It’s a time to spend time with friends and family, and it’s a time to take part in activities that get you ready for the big day. Unfortunately, things aren’t quite as simple as that in China.
In 2018, new rules came into place in this country that has made it more difficult for those that celebrate the holiday to do so with ease. Now, Christmas festivities and activities have to take place in sanctioned institutions and have to be organized while maintaining strict guidelines.
Green Eggs and Ham
Dr. Suess was one of the most famous authors of his time, and there’s no doubt about the fact that his stories and his legacy are still extremely popular today. One of his most famous stories came in the form of Green Eggs and Ham, which follows a man by the name of Sam who makes no secret of the fact that he doesn’t like the food.
To many, this story seems relatively harmless. However, the Chinese government believed that Dr. Suess had incorporated Marxist themes and images within the story, and decided to ban the book completely. Although the ban was lifted when Dr. Suess passed away in the ‘90s, it’s still relatively unknown in the country.
Video consoles and games
If you’re the kind of person that loves to spend their free time escaping to new worlds within video games, then a move to China might not be on the cards. Due to the nature of many games and consoles, the Chinese government decided to ban all gaming consoles from the country.
This meant that children and adults alike couldn’t play these games or practice their gaming techniques, and this was in effect for a whopping 14 years. While the ban was eventually lifted a few years ago, there are various video games that contain violent themes that are still illegal in the country.
It seems as though the people of China don’t have the chance to use social media the way the rest of the world does. While most of us have no qualms about logging onto social media and spending hours taking photos of ourselves with dog ears and noses, those in China don’t get the same privileges.
That’s because Snapchat is banned in China, and citizens are not allowed to use or download it. Of course, that doesn’t leave them with nothing. Those in China do have their own apps that allow them to communicate with each other, but they are incredibly censored and constantly monitored.
We don’t know where we would be without Wikipedia in our lives, as this is the place we go to in order to learn more about that specific celebrity or understand more about history. While most countries around the world use this universal vat of knowledge, the Chinese government decided to ban the Chinese version of the site a few years ago.
However, a new change came into place in 2019, and they decided to go one step further by scrapping it altogether. Anyone who tries to get on the site now will be greeted with an error message and a blank screen sans information.
When it comes to legendary Hollywood movies, Brokeback Mountain has certainly proved itself worthy of a place on the list. Directed by Ang Lee, who was born in Taiwan, the success of this movie was a huge win for the country of China. However, that didn’t mean that the Chinese government wanted to show this film off to the nation.
Due to the LGBT themes and the nature of the movie, they actually banned Brokeback Mountain from being shown in movie theaters. Of course, this isn’t the only Hollywood movie that has been snubbed. It’s believed that just 34 foreign films are allowed to be shown every single year in China.
If you know anything about plants and flowers, you might know a little something about jasmine. This beautiful plant comes with an equally beautiful scent, but those who live in China don’t get the chance to experience this for themselves. That’s because jasmine is banned in the country, and anyone thought to be selling or growing the plant will be accused of selling or growing contraband.
So, why is the flower banned? After a revolution involving the name of this plant took place in another country, it seems as though the government didn’t want the same thing happening in China. To remove any chances of this happening, they removed the plant itself.
When you think of China, there’s a high chance that you immediately think of fireworks. After all, it’s believed that these amazing light spectacles came from the country itself, and have been used for centuries to celebrate events such as the Chinese New Year.
However, the night sky has looked a little different in recent years. Because the country is becoming increasingly overpopulated and air pollution is plaguing those who live there, the Chinese government decided to put a ban on these fireworks for a few years. Hundreds of cities in the country now have a ban in place, but there are others that have simply reduced the number used.
Music is pretty subjective, right? One person may love pop, while another may be all about that R&B. However, it seems as though those who live in China don’t get much of a choice when it comes to their musical tastes, as one particular genre has been censored.
Yes, the Chinese government has banned hip hop being played on television, and they have even banned hip hop artists with tattoos from making appearances on the screen. It’s believed that their supposed bad behavior and their questionable lyrics about certain topics didn’t sit well with those in charge. So, don’t expect to be singing along to this genre anytime soon.
Many fans of the celebrity world can spend hours reading about their favorite celebrities and what they’ve been getting up to, but the Chinese government doesn’t want their citizens to do that. In 2017, the government submitted a list of all of the celebrity gossip websites and blogs that they wanted to be banned, and they have made sure that alternatives haven’t cropped up in the process.
It’s believed that those in charge think that these sites are of “poor taste” and do not promote the same values as they are trying to promote for their citizens. Because of this, Chinese people can’t keep up with their favorite celebs.
If you’re the kind of person that loves to use humor in their everyday life, there’s a high chance that you’re a big fan of puns. They can break the ice, they can inspire a little chuckle, and they break up the seriousness of everyday life. At least, that’s the case in most countries apart from China.
Puns are officially banned in this country, and it seems as though the Chinese government doesn’t take too kindly to those who are either using them out loud or writing them online. That’s because these jokes supposedly break down traditional Chinese culture and create “cultural and linguistic chaos.” No, that isn’t just one big joke.
Nowadays, it seems as though everyone has Whatsapp. This messaging service offers a quick and easy way to talk to those around the globe – but it seems as though that’s the issue in China. In 2017, the Chinese government decided to ban the messaging service, and the app does not work in the country.
While there have been many people who have tried to use the service in China while using a VPN, it seems as though the government is on top of those people who are trying their luck. They don’t want their citizens to send or receive messages, photos, or files from other people across the world. However, China isn’t the only country to have banned certain things…
Baby walkers – Canada
Canada is often regarded as one of the most liberal countries in the world, but it seems as though even the most liberal of places has some rather intense rules. In 2004, the country shocked the rest of the world when they banned baby walkers.
They noted that these baby walkers were harmful to babies and could stunt their growth and their mental development. Thanks to this, it is not illegal to buy or sell a baby walker, and you’ll be hit with some rather intense punishment if you are found to be breaking this rule. You’ll be faced with six months in jail or a $100,000 fine.
Chewing gum – Singapore
Chewing gum is a common product around the world, and it seems as though you can’t walk down the street without seeing someone chewing on the good stuff. Chewing gum comes in so many different flavors, and there are countless brands to choose from but don’t expect to find any if you ever make your way to Singapore.
While it’s not illegal to chew the gum yourself, there is a law in place that makes it illegal for anyone – including major companies – to import chewing gum. You won’t just get a stern talking to if you are found chewing this gum, as the punishment is a potential stint behind bars and a $1,000 fine.
Goldfish – Italy
If you live in the US, there’s a high chance that you think of a tasty snack when you hear the word “goldfish.” However, Italy hasn’t banned its citizens from being able to eat sugary treats. This ruling actually involves actual goldfish that are kept as pets.
While it’s not illegal to keep a goldfish as a pet, it is illegal to keep it in a small glass bowl. Instead, you have to ensure that they have a large tank that is adequate for their survival and their overall health. As if that wasn’t enough, it’s also illegal for people to win goldfish as prizes.
Heels – Greece
If you’ve ever worn heels, you’ll know that they aren’t the most comfortable of shoes. They pinch your toes, they squeeze your feet together, and they make some pretty serious noise when you’re trying to keep a low profile. Alongside this, the heel of these shoes can often cause damage and scuffs to floors.
Because of this, the Greek government has banned people from wearing heeled shoes to many of their historical sites. They do not want people to disrupt the ground with their heels, and they don’t want their impressive history to be ruined by a few pairs of shoes.
Lip-syncing – Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan is tucked away in central Asia, but that doesn’t mean that the world doesn’t know about their rules and regulations. In 2005, the world was in uproar when they heard the news that the President of Turkmenistan had enforced a few new rules.
Perhaps the most bizarre rule surrounded the idea of lip-syncing, and the President noted that the act of lip-syncing would no longer be legal. In his eyes, the act didn’t promote the “true culture” of the country and wasn’t an important addition to anyone’s life. As if that wasn’t enough, the President also banned the ballet and opera, after stating that they are unnecessary.
Memes – Australia
Nowadays, we live in a world where memes reign supreme. They are shared by people across the globe, and they constantly reach an international audience. However, it seems as though that isn’t the case in Australia. That’s because sharing and creating memes in this country is actually illegal.
Anyone caught doing so goes against section 132A part 2 of their Copyright Act, and will be faced with harsh punishment. Considering the fact that memes are so famous across the globe, it might surprise you to know that one of the most progressive countries in the world bans them. Would you be able to live without them?
Blue Jeans – North Korea
If you’re up to date on the goings-on in North Korea, you’ll know that there are so many different rules in place. Men and women have to abide by certain haircuts, they are not allowed to use the internet, and it seems as though they even have rules in place in terms of their outfits.
That’s because those in North Korea aren’t actually allowed to wear blue jeans in the country. They are allowed to wear black jeans, but the color blue is normally associated with the US. Because these two countries haven’t had the best relationship, those in charge don’t want people wearing them.
Pennies – Canada
Canada seems to have a huge number of rules in place, and when they’re not trying to get their children to walk without the use of a walker, they are having to be careful about how many coins they have in their possession.
Yes, it’s illegal for people in Canada to pay for a product with more than 25 pennies per purchase. While there’s no doubt about the fact that this is pretty annoying for the cashier, this rule also came in place in 2013, when the country first tried to phase out their coins. We don’t know why anyone would have so many coins on them, but this rule is still a little strange.