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China to ban karaoke songs to save territorial integrity; blacklisting starts from 1st October

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The Chinese government declared that singing certain songs in karaoke bars may endanger national unity and territorial integrity and will be banned.

 Provisional regulations that went into effect on October 1 stipulated that the government will establish a “blacklist” for karaoke songs and ban them.

Also read: India China inches closer to disengagement at Gogra Hot Spring

Statement by culture and tourism ministry


“China will create a blacklist for karaoke songs, banning those that contain harmful content at karaoke venues across the country,” the Chinese culture and tourism ministry announced on Tuesday.

The list of banned songs will also include songs that violate national religious policies and spread cults and superstitions.

“On the list are songs containing content that endangers national unity, sovereignty, or territorial integrity; violates China’s religious policies and spreads cults and superstitions; and advocates obscenity, gambling, violence and drug-related crimes or instigating crimes,” according to a set of interim regulations issued by the ministry.

Regulation will come into effect from October 1

The regulations will be implemented on October 1, 2021, and the list of banned songs has yet to be announced. According to the Xinhua news agency, China officially has nearly 50,000 entertainment venues, including karaoke, and a basic music library of more than 100,000 songs.

Informally, this number may be higher, which makes it more difficult for government agencies to monitor their content.

The ministry have taken these kind of steps in the past as well

The first time the ministry had taken a similar step was in 2015 when it had banned 120 songs, which “trumpet obscenity, violence, crime or harm social morality”.

A report by the Global Times then said: “With titles such as ‘Beijing Hooligans’, ‘Don’t Want to Go to School’ and ‘Suicide Diary’, the banned songs were described as having severely problematic content which violate an online cultural management regulation”.

Karaoke, also known as KTV in China, was invented in Japan in the 1970s and introduced to China in the late 1980s, the Xinhua report added.

Chinese government Hip hop and other sort of art is not acceptable 

In early 2018, the Chinese government also severely cracked down on the country’s emerging hip-hop music industry, requiring broadcasters not to broadcast tattoo artists, singing hip-hop music, and other CPCs that conflicted with the values of the Chinese.

 In contrast, given the party’s opposition, Chinese rappers have become patriotic. Just like the 100 rappers who recently collaborated on the patriotic rap song “100%” on July 1 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China.

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