September 28, 2020

China bars some Lady Gaga hits from download sites

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BEIJING (AP) — China’s Ministry of Culture has ordered music download sites to delete songs by Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, the Backstreet Boys and other pop stars within two weeks or face punishment.

The ministry posted a list of 100 songs — including Lady Gaga’s “Judas” and Perry’s “Last Friday Night” — that had to be purged from the Chinese web because they had never been submitted for mandatory

government screening. Six Lady Gaga songs in all were on the list, all from her latest album.The 12-year-old ballad “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys was also targeted. Dozens of Hong Kong and

Taiwanese pop songs and a few Western hits were listed as well. The ministry said the rule was meant to preserve China’s “national cultural security.” Sites were told in the Aug. 19 announcement posted to the

ministry’s website that they had until Sept. 15 to carry out “self correction” and delete the songs. It said violators would be punished, but didn’t outline the penalties they would face. It didn’t say that the listed songs

were objectionable, just that they had not been approved for distribution. The Chinese government carefully screens the content of imported entertainment content for political messages or commentary that runs

contrary to its official line.

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