Beijing blacklists 120 songs over moral issues

BEIJING • China's Ministry of Culture on Monday released a blacklist of 120 songs that "trumpeted obscenity, violence, crime or harmed social morality", and ordered website administrators to remove them from their sites.

Songs by household names such as Taiwan's Chang Chen-yue and Stanley Huang were among the banned songs described as "having severely problematic content", which violated an online cultural management regulation, according to a ministry statement, the Xinhua news agency reported.

It was the first time in history that the ministry has released such a blacklist, said China's Global Times.

"No unit or individual is allowed to provide these songs," the ministry's statement read, promising severe punishment for those who failed to comply with the take- down notice, reported Xinhua.

The blacklist will serve as a reference for online administrators to ensure their content is legal, said a ministry official. The list will be updated regularly.

Many songs such as Beijing Hooligans and Hello Teacher by Beijing underground hip-hop group IN3 were on the list.

Nine Taiwan acts were listed for 23 songs. They include the 2006 hit by Chang and rap artist MC HotDog, which has the lyrics: "If you're pregnant, I will take you to the gynaecologist" and "Lift up your clothes, throw up your bra".

Chang's agency told EToday that the singer's listed songs were among his early works, which were already not being performed in China.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 12, 2015, with the headline 'Beijing blacklists 120 songs over moral issues'. Print Edition | Subscribe