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China says no to 'harmful' lyrics
Updated: 2015-08-12 08:15:07
( China Daily )

Some banned songs are written and performed by well-known singer-songwriters, including Taiwan pop star Chang Chen-yue (above). Provided to China Daily

One hundred and twenty Chinese songs that contain lyrics promoting "obscenity, violence, crime or that harm social morality", are banned online, according to an order released by the Ministry of Culture on Aug 10.

The ministry asked websites that offer online music listening and downloading options, to remove such songs from their platforms. The statement added, "no unit or individual is allowed to provide these songs", and announced "severe punishment for those that fail to comply with the take-down notice".

The list includes songs from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, some of which were written and performed by well-known singer-songwriters, including Taiwan pop star Chang Chen-yue, who has recorded a song titled Fart, singing the line, "There are some people in the world who like farting while doing nothing."

The Beijing-based hip-hop group Yinsan'er, which is composed of rappers Chen Haoran, Jia Wei and Meng Guodong, and is considered one of the most popular bands in the country, also have 17 songs on the blacklist.

The lyrics of one of their songs, titled Hello, Teacher, go, "I spit in the water you drink. You have nothing to do but peep through the window".

Other big names on the list include Hong Kong singer Stanley Huang, Taiwan rapper Mc Hotdog and Beijing-based pop singer Xu Song.

According to Xinhua News Agency, the blacklist will serve as a reference for online administrators to ensure their content is legal, says Liu Qiang, a ministry official in charge of the cultural market, adding that the list will be regularly updated.

No immediate reactions were available from the singers whose songs are on the list, except for Hong Kong singer-actor Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, who claimed on his micro blog that he is not the author and the performer of the song titled, (expletive) You Tonight, banned by the ministry.

Wong, an award-winning actor who has nearly 4 million followers on Sina Weibo, added that the song was written and sung by Hong Kong singer Richard Billyham.

China has the largest population of music listeners online. According to research, the country has an online user base of 650 million people and the number is expected to grow.

Most music websites in China allow people to listen to music for free, which has led to a number of problems, such as copyright violation. The government has been trying to regulate the online music market.

The National Copyright Administration issued a new regulation stating that by July 31, online music websites must remove all unauthorized songs and music works, which was welcomed by the music industry.

Showing support for the new directive, Lin Na, a marketing executive at QQ Music, a division of the Internet giant Tencent, says the company has more than 800 million users and more than 15 million songs, with copyright obtained from more than 200 record companies.

"We will comply with the notice and further monitor the contents of the songs played on our website," says Lin.

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