China bans karaoke songs with ‘illegal’ content

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From October 1st, songs with content considered ‘illegal’ in the country’s karaoke clubs will be banned in China. This was announced by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism specifying that a ‘black list’ will be created which will cover the passages that endanger national unity, sovereignty or territorial integrity. Those providing content to karaoke venues were asked to review the songs and report ‘potentially harmful’ songs to the ministry.
Among other songs banned are those that incite ethnic hatred and ethnic discrimination; songs that endanger national security or harm national honor and interests, those that violate the religious policies of the state, that promote obscenity, gambling, violence and drug-related crimes, or instigate crime.
There are nearly 50,000 entertainment venues in China such as karaoke bars, with a basic music library of over 100,000 songs. It is not the first time that Beijing has banned songs from karaoke clubs. In 2015, the ministry published a blacklist of 120 songs that “flaunt obscenities, violence, crime or damage social morality.”