The story of China's film market is getting more and more intense (and, frankly, popcorn-worthy) to observe. The nation knows well that its market is uberinfluential right now — the second-biggest in the world behind the U.S., for now — and that big studios are pretty much at the mercy of their State Administration for Radio, Film and Television to allow their movies, especially those big-budget blockbusters, a chance at those coveted international ticket sales.
China has been getting more strict about what comes in, denying movies entry even when an entire plot switcheroo was orchestrated around it ("World War Z") or for no apparent reason at all, which is the case with "Despicable Me 2."
Per the L.A. Times, Universal confirmed that the Land of Exports won't be importing its minion-filled sequel, though no explanation as to why was given (and the content is hardly objectionable, unless too much cuteness is an offense).
Producer Robert Cain, who specializes in this growing field of interest, told the publication he guesses that China's just had enough of all the animated film fare coming out of the west ("The Croods" did nearly $65 million in business there), since there's plenty of that available on the domestic front, but then that wouldn't exactly explain why "The Smurfs 2" got the all-clear.
One big difference between the two sequels is the fact that "Despicable Me" never screened in China, while "The Smurfs" made a nice mint there back in '11, but who knows if that fact even came into play with the decision at all.
But before you go crying on Universal's behalf over their bit of bad news, do note that they've already made almost $600 million worldwide on the movie in less than a month. So, they're still doing the happy dance over this one for sure.