Giant toad sparks China censorship row

CHARLIE MITCHELL
Last updated 10:02 24/07/2014
china toad
Reuters

YOUR SUPREME TOADNESS: The giant inflatable toad floating on a lake at Beijing's Yuyuantan Park is 22 metres.

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A humongous inflatable toad has been targeted by Chinese censors after it was compared to a former Chinese president.

The 22-metre high toad, erected in a Beijing park last week, is the latest in the popular Chinese trend of oversized, blow-up wildlife.

The trend has been in vogue since the runaway popularity of an inflatable duck that was placed in the Hong Kong harbour last year.

But the Chinese government has banned all talk of the inflatable amphibian due to mockery from Chinese social media users, who have compared it to former president Jiang Zemin, nicknamed "the toad".

China's official news agency, Xinhua, deleted its report on the toad - a Chinese symbol of good luck and prosperity - days after it was put up.

Zemin stepped down as president in 2002, but still holds influence in the ruling Communist party.

The Chinese government exerts considerable influence on the internet, blocking access to websites such as Facebook and censoring news stories that are critical of the government.

Last year, users of Chinese Twitter equivalent Sina Weibo were unable to search for the term "big yellow duck" after an image of the famous Tank Man picture, with tanks replaced by big yellow ducks, became popular.

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