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China bars karaoke songs with ‘illegal content’

china karaoke
Two karaoke singers entertain the crowd at the Qingdao International Beer Festival. Photo: Getty
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China will set up a blacklist of karaoke songs, banning any that feature “illegal content” from venues across the country from October 1, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism says.

The content includes anything that endangers national unity, sovereignty or territorial integrity, violates state religious policies by propagating cults or superstitions, or which encourages illegal activities such as gambling and drugs, the ministry said on its website on Tuesday.

Content providers to such karaoke venues will be responsible for auditing the songs, it said.

China has nearly 50,000 entertainment outlets with basic music libraries of more than 100,000 songs – making it a big ask for venue operators to identify illegal tracks.

The ministry said it encouraged content providers to supply “healthy and uplifting” music to these venues.

China heavily regulates and scrubs content such as violence, pornography, or politically sensitive commentary from social media and websites. In recent months, it has also punished live-streaming to video platforms for hosting content it deems “low taste”.

-AAP