China has created a blacklist of songs for karaoke bars

There’s no part of Chinese society that doesn’t interest the Communist Party. That includes karaoke bars that offer patrons the opportunity to belt out songs the PRC considers offensive and subversive.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism is busy creating a blacklist of songs that it says contain “illegal content.” By October 1, none of the country’s 50,000 karaoke parlours will be able to offer such songs to its customers.

What’s the criteria? the Xinhua news agency says these are songs that “endangers national unity, sovereignty or territory integrity; violates China’s religious policies and spreads cults and superstitions; and advocates obscenity, gambling, violence and drug-related crimes or instigating crimes.”

For the time being, it appears that establishments will be expected to self-police their karaoke libraries and to offer only “healthy” songs and tracks that “promote positive energy.” Expect spot checks from the authorities, too.

What specific songs will end up on this blacklist? In the past, the government has banned tracks like “Beijing Hooligans,” “I Love Taiwanese Girls,” “Don’t Wanna Go to School” and “Fart.”

More here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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