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China bans pop songs fearing Middle East-style unrest

Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Take That are banned from the Chinese music scene, for fear of rocking the security of state culture

Ahram Online, Tuesday 30 Aug 2011
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AFP news agency has reported that the reason behind China's recent ban on over 100 pop songs is that they are apparently “out of tune with the country's cultural authorities."

The ministry of culture said it aimed to regulate the 'order' of the Internet music market, adding songs that 'harm the security of state culture must be cleaned up and regulated under the law'.

The ban includes songs by American singers such as Lady Gaga, The Backstreet Boys and Beyonce, Canada's Simple Plan and British pop group Take That.

Previously issued bans have included songs by Avril Lavigne as well as the Rolling Stones' 1960s version of It's All Over Now.

US- based Variety, an entertainment news platform, claims that “there has been a much sharper focus on foreign music since Icelandic singer Bjork shouted 'Tibet! Tibet!' at the end of her song Declare Independence at a 2008 concert in Shanghai."

Even though the communiqué did not explain reasons behind the ban, sexually explicit lyrics or videos and politically sensitive material are routinely censored in China. 

Some news platforms state that China's recent excessive bans are motored by the government's fear of the spread of Middle East-style protests against authoritarian rule, and of any destabilising influences ahead of the change in leadership next year.

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