China State Censorship Targets Karaoke, ‘Low Taste’ Content

SHANGHAI — The world’s most populous nation, China, has announced a further expansion of state censorship over content, targeting songs at karaoke parlors and also content that the government deems “low taste.”

Reuters reported today that starting October 1, China “will establish a blacklist of karaoke songs to ban those containing ‘illegal content’ at karaoke venues across the country.”

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism explained that “such content includes that which 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 official statement by China’s state news agency states songs will be banned if the government considers them as “advocating obscenity, gambling, violence and drug-related crimes or instigating crimes.”

The ministry added that “it encouraged content providers to supply ‘healthy and uplifting’ music to these venues.”

Most recently, China’s online content censorship — which includes everything the Beijing regime considers “pornography” — has expanded to punish livestreaming platforms for hosting content it deems “low taste,” Reuters reported.

Last week, as XBIZ reported Monday, a global survey by cybersecurity specialists Comparitech described a worldwide trend towards increased censorship of internet content — including blanket bans on “pornography” — led by China and other Asian nations.

While it’s no great surprise to see the likes of China, Russia and North Korea topping the list,” the 2021 Comparitech report concluded, “the growing number of restrictions in many other countries is greatly concerning.”

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