China blocks HBO website after John Oliver criticism on ‘Last Week Tonight’

A segment on a recent episode of the British comedian's satirical programme has apparently irked Chinese authorities

HBO’s website has reportedly been blocked in China after the country and its president Xi Jinping were criticised by John Oliver on his show Last Week Tonight.

Oliver chose to dedicate the majority of his June 17 episode to a piece on recent developments in China. The segment covered the country’s economic growth, but also highlighted its controversial crackdown on political dissenters and religious minorities.

The piece also took aim at Jinping, pointing out the recent popular comparison between the president and Winnie the Pooh. The comparison saw A.A Milne’s character blacklisted on social media by Chinese authorities last year.

You can watch the segment on China and Jinping in full here (not available to UK viewers).

Numerous reports have now highlighted that, in the wake of Oliver’s report, Last Week Tonight‘s parent company HBO has had its website blocked from the tightly-controlled Chinese internet. Variety are reporting that HBO’s “entire web presence” was blocked late last week, and had been thought to have still been down as of Monday (June 25).

However, Deadline cites sources in China who say that such HBO shows as Westworld and Game Of Thrones can still be watched in the country – albeit on Tencent’s streaming platform. Furthermore, HBOAsia’s website can also be accessed.

Back in November, it was reported that Katy Perry had been “banned indefinitely” from performing in China.