As China Steps Up Music Market Legitimacy, a 'Fart' Ban

Chang Csun Yuk 2014
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Chang Csun Yuk rehearses for his coming concert on Wednesday May 7,2014 in Taipei, China.

China has released a fresh blacklist of songs that it says promote obscenity or violence and ordered website administrators to remove them from their sites.

The order from the Ministry of Culture, issued Monday, accompanied the list of 120 songs that "trumpeted obscenity, violence, crime or harmed social morality," the official Xinhua News Agency said. It said the problematic content violated online cultural management regulations and said that any unit or individual that does not take down the songs will face unspecified "severe punishment."

China Purges Songs in Push Towards Digital Music Legitimacy

The list contains Chinese-language songs, and some are by household names in China, including Taiwanese pop singer Chang Csun Yuk and Taiwanese actor Stanley Huang. Chang's blacklisted songs include "Fart," with the line "There are some people in the world who like farting while doing nothing," and "I Love Taiwanese Girls," in which he sings that he will take them to a gynecology department if they get pregnant and urges them to take off their clothes.

Xinhua said the list will be updated regularly.

China's authoritarian government regularly attempts to tighten control over content that it says disturbs social stability. Most music websites in China allow people to listen to music for free. In June, officials blacklisted nearly 40 Japanese manga cartoons and issued stern warnings to 30 websites for carrying shows that "encourage juvenile delinquency, glorify violence and include sexual content."