Given the episode's title, creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone clearly anticipated this development. Another part of the plot "follows Stan, Jimmy, Kenny, and Butters forming a metal band" but quickly learning that they will have to adjust their work in order for it to be distributed in the region.
The most recent episode, aptly named "Band in China", critiqued Hollywood studios that steer clear of producing any content that would offend the Chinese government, lest they face censorship.
In a nutshell, Chinese premier Xi Jinping had been compared to Winnie the Pooh and the comparison was enough to cause China to clamp down on the comparisons anywhere on their walled-off internet. Long like the Great Communist Party of China!
The creators of "South Park" have responded to China's ban of their critical "Band in China" episode with a very on-brand "official apology" that wasn't an apology at all - more of a plug for the Comedy Central show's upcoming 300th episode.
The Hollywood Reporter noted that searches across Chinese social media sites such as Weibo find zero mentions of the show, and previously available episodes and seasons on its streaming service Youku are now dead. May the autumn's sorghum harvest be bountiful.
Over at "South Park", last week's episode mocked China mercilessly for censorship. and pointed out how Winnie the Pooh is bear-non-grata over there because people have used the cartoon character to mock President Xi's physical appearance.
In one scene, figures that resemble Disney-owned movie characters - including Thor and Black Panther from the Avengers films, a Star Wars Stormtrooper, and Snow White - get on a flight to China as other passengers are talking about their companies wanting to get Chinese citizens as customers. The episode also featured Randy caught trying to sell marijuana in China and getting sent to a prison work camp. At one point, Stan, while being forced to change something he wrote while a Chinese guard looks over his shoulder, says, "now I know how Hollywood writers feel".
This controversy follows one that erupted just this past week, in of all places, the National Basketball Association, after Houston Rocket's general manager Daryl Morey tweeted support for pro-democracy protesters that have been demonstrating in the thousands for weeks against the Hong Kong government.