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China bans internet reports of giant inflatable toad

by on24 July 2014

Toad compared to ex-president Jiang Zemin

China's censors have issued an order banning internet reports of a giant inflatable toad floating in a Beijing park. Social media people have been posting pictures of the toad which they say is the spitting image of ex-president Jiang Zemin.

References to the 22m toad unveiled in Beijing's Yuyuantan Park last month have vanished from all major news portals, and a story on the Xinhua news agency site is now unavailable. One paper - the official China Daily - dismisses the toad as a "poor attempt to replicate the success of an original work", but fails to mention the still-powerful Jiang - who was nicknamed The Toad during his 13-year rule.

Apparently China is really interested in huge blow-up animals ever since a Dutch designer floated an enormous rubber duck in Hong Kong harbour last year. The giant duck triggered so much discussion on social media that the government banned online searches for 'big yellow duck' after Sina Weibo mini-blog users posted photo mock-ups of the iconic lone Tiananmen Square protester facing down not a column of tanks but a parade of bath toys.

The Toad is still there floating in the park lake, and a spokesman told Channel News Asia there are no plans to remove it, just stop people talking about it. 

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