It is unclear why the Chinese government denied the request and Chinese authorities do not provide reasons to Hollywood studios when they disallow screening of their movies, the source said.
One anonymous source told The Hollywood Reporter that the movie's ban was directly linked to China's crackdown on images of Winnie the Pooh however, another source said the decision likely has to do with the fact that there are now several new Hollywood tentpoles in the Chinese market.
There is also a popular picture of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shaking Mr Xi's hands, which was juxtaposed with a picture of Pooh shaking paws with Eeyore. Thus, the honey-loving bear immediately became the symbol of the Chinese resistance against the ruling Communist Party, and this has prompted Chinese authorities to heavily censor the character, blocking images, GIFs and mentions of the bear across social media.
With one particular image comparing President Xi to Winnie and President Obama to Tigger.
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China, the world's second-largest film market, limits the number of foreign-made films allowed into the country to 34 a year. In 2015, the Financial Times reported, a photo of Xi waving at supporters from a parade auto next to an image of Pooh in a toy vehicle was named the most censored image of the year by Global Risk Insights.
Disney's A Wrinkle In Time was also denied release in China. Disney will open "Ant-Man and The Wasp" in China on August 24.
Disney has not reacted to the snub of the live-action/CGI film, which stars Ewan McGregor as a middle-aged British businessman and carries a PG rating.
The ban is part of the government's reported crackdown on banning Winnie the Pooh from the country's internet due to comparisons of the character to Chinese President Xi Jinping.