China to ban ′harmful′ songs from karaoke venues | News | DW | 11.08.2021

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China to ban 'harmful' songs from karaoke venues

Karaoke bars in China will be tasked with prohibiting songs that threaten national security, violate religious practices or encourage drug use.

Detail of some neon signs advertising karaoke parlors and nightclubs

Thousands of karaoke bars across China will be affected by the decision

China will ban karaoke songs that contain "harmful content" at entertainment venues, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported Tuesday. 

The Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism will create a "blacklist" to outlaw karaoke songs it deems a threat to society, Xinhua said. 

The "blacklist" includes content that threatens national unity, sovereignty or territorial integrity as well as songs that violate state religious policies by propagating cults or superstitions.

Songs that encourage illegal activities such as gambling and drugs will also be banned, according to the ministry.

'Healthy and uplifting' songs instead

The ministry said content providers to karaoke venues would be responsible for auditing the songs, adding that it urged them to supply "healthy and uplifting" music to these venues.

China has nearly 50,000 entertainment outlets with a basic music library of over 100,000 songs, according to Xinhua. 

Last year, Chinese officials banned around 100 songs they said were promoting violence. 

China heavily regulates content like violence, pornography, or politically critical commentary from social media platforms. The country also has one of the world's most restrictive environments for media and the press. 

How much online criticism does China allow?

Reuters news agency contributed to this report.

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