China: Western music industry accepts Chinese censorship

15 April 2009
Music banned by the Chinese authorities will not be available at a new free Internet music download service launched earlier this week by Google Inc. and major music companies.

Providers will abide by Chinese censorship and withhold songs that are banned by the communist government.

“When you’re in the music business in China you know you have to follow the regulations,” said Lachie Rutherford, president of Warner Music Asia and regional head of the global recording industry group, the International Federation of Phonographic Industries.

In an interview with AP staff writer Joe Mcdonald, he added: “We wouldn’t give files to people in China (in situations) where a song has been banned.”

According to AP the advertising-supported service will offer 1.1 million tracks, including the full catalogue of Chinese and Western music for Warner Music Group Corporation, EMI Group Ltd., Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music and 14 independent labels.

It will be limited to use by computers whose Internet protocol, or IP, addresses show they are in mainland China. The new site will sell advertising on its download page and split revenues with music companies, according to its CEO, Gary Chen.

Accepted strict censorship
The Chinese government keeps a tight rein on the internet and what users can access. When Google entered China several years ago the company accepted strict censorship regulations. The BBC news site is inaccessible, while a search on for the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement directs users to a string of condemnatory articles.

In 2006 Google set up a new site — — which the company censors itself to satisfy the authorities in Beijing. Google has argued it would be more damaging to pull out of China altogether than accepting Chinese censorship




Yahoo – 30 March 2009:

‘Google, music labels launch China download service’

BBC – 26 January 2006:

‘Google censors itself for China’
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