April Fools’ Day has been banned in China in an unprecedented crackdown. The tradition of playing practical jokes on your friends, family and coworkers on April 1st has fallen victim to the ban.

China’s Communist Party launched a campaign three years ago to criminalize the spreading of rumors. Xinhua’s post suggests an April Fools’ Day prank that mocked or undermined the Party could have potentially serious consequences.


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“’April Fools’ Day’ is not consistent with our cultural tradition, or socialist core values,” state news agency Xinhua announced on social media Friday. “Hope nobody believes in rumors, makes rumors or spreads rumors.”

But some social media users couldn’t help but see the funny side.

“Every day is April Fools’ Day,” one user posted.

“This is Xinhua’s joke, don’t you see?” another wrote.

Others wondered if Party controlled China Central Television had received the memo.

“Watch CCTV news, have China’s April Fools’ Day,” posted one user. h/t washingtonpost

“In the West, it’s only for a day, but a certain (TV) station is fooling 365 days non-stop,” another wrote.