China’s censors to establish do-not-play list of ‘illegal’ karaoke songs


China is putting together a truly epic playlist of supposedly rebellious karaoke songs — songs that no one in the country will be allowed to sing under penalty of criminal prosecution. The Chinese Communist Party (CPC) is stepping up its efforts to censor pop-culture content that it deems threatening to the regime, with a new initiative to ban an unspecified number of songs from being played at karaoke bars throughout the country. The blacklist playlist will come into effect on Oct. 1, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism said in a statement. Karaoke bar owners are being told to review their catalogues of songs and flag anything that might run afoul of the new rules… Those criteria have been invoked to ban a wide range of content in China, from mentions of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre to news about the CPC’s persecution of Uyghurs, the ethnic Muslim minority that has been forced into internment camps in the western state of Xinjiang. China has also banned images of Winnie the Pooh, the honey-loving Disney character, after the bear was used to mock Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013.

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