back to article Naughty karaoke is China's next tech crackdown target

China has announced a crackdown on naughty karaoke. A new policy interpretation from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism points out that on-demand karaoke music services have over 100,000 tracks in their libraries, and that it is not therefore reasonable to expect that China's 50,000-plus karaoke venues ensure all are …

  1. Anonymous Coward

    Naughty or Nice?

    Naughty is too inscrutable for me. Now if it were all karaoke, I'd be on board.

    I'd suggest that next up should be mimes, clowns, and Kardashians.

  2. anonymousI

    "...songs that endanger national security."

    Hmmm, that seems to rule out anything that isn't hagiographic enough about Comrade Xi and his rather large claque.

    1. Youngone Silver badge

      They're definitely banning the classic "Daddy punched a communist" then aren't they?

    2. Allan George Dyer
      Big Brother

      long words Bother me

      If they think about the words of "March of the Volunteers", they may decide to ban that too... again.

    3. Wade Burchette

      I guess Winnie the Pooh" song is right out too.

      1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

        Sadly, they will no more sing HO! for the life of a bear: (about 7 minutes in).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Haha, that song came to my mind immediately too! All the references to Winnie the Pooh serve Xi right since he started to mess with that bear.

    4. Cuddles

      "Hmmm, that seems to rule out anything that isn't hagiographic enough about Comrade Xi"

      But wouldn't that be covered by the ban on promoting cults? If they actually meant what they said, this would rule out literally everything.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It's not a cult if it's the state religion

  3. skeptical i

    I've been a bad, bad, boy.

    re: "venues have been told to report naughty songs to local authorities"

    Who will have to play those songs at least a dozen times each to ascertain just how naughty they are and what an appropriate punishment might be. [* whipcrack *]

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Depending on their definition...

    "Naughty" may be (almost) impossible. Because if it includes sexual connotations then any song would be on the chopping block. Case in point, M. Monroe singing "Happy Birthday" in such a way as to get the then-president's candle to come to full attention & shoot off a few flares of joy.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My old Mao’s a dustman

    He wears a dustman’s hat….


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My old Mao’s a dustman

      That took me a long time to stop laughing.

      and raincoat and shoes,

      and every Saturday evening

      He likes to watch some ...

  6. Denarius

    heavy drinking culture

    so managlement want the local BOFHs to be sober when cattleprodding the users into higher productivity ?

  7. the Jim bloke
    Big Brother

    Will the CCP be leading by example?

    .. or by making examples...

    Imagine a world where those in power lived by the principles they espoused, and did not use their positions of privilege to corruptly gain advantage..

    Nup, I cant either.

    1. macjules

      Re: Will the CCP be leading by example?

      They have karaoke nights where you can hear them singing 'China in [y]our hand'.

  8. jmch Silver badge

    Mostly dicttorial twaddle...

    Mostly dictatorial twaddle, but this part at least not only makes sense but is advice that many western compnies could do well to heed

    "...firmly opposed to business cultures that all-but-compel employees to indulge in heavy drinking.

    ..expectations of heavy drinking ... can amount to bullying....

    The commentary calls for an end to unspoken codes that assume heavy after-hours drinking is part of doing business"

    1. lglethal Silver badge

      Re: Mostly dicttorial twaddle...

      Is this really still a Problem in the West? I've worked in a lot of different firms all across the western world (except the US) and cant actually remember anywhere where this was a problem. Some of the places did occasionally go out for a meal or to the pub together, but a) it was never compuslory, b) there was never any blowback for not attending, c) there was never any problem if someone was not drinking that night. Hell in most places, going overboard was far more looked down on, then not drinking at all.

      Maybe I've just been lucky. But in 20 years in the industry I cant remember a single situation where that would have applied...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mostly dicttorial twaddle...

        Indeed, and some places go further. My nominal worksite is officially dry - even buying a bottle of plonk at lunchtime for use with the evening meal means having to leave it at the gatehouse and pick it up on the way out.

        They also have random alcohol and drugs testing, and it's a condition of having a site pass that you accept this if you happen to be chosen.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mostly dicttorial twaddle...

        Drunken parties were mostly a 90's thing back when people had IRL friends pre "social" media and fostering a team spirit was considered to be a good thing, and trips out was a common thing for staff retention. Not just pub crawls, but also trips out. I think it's reasonably fair to say that it became steadily less common into the early years of this century as staff became viewed as being disposable "Human Resources".

        Between that, and the (anti) bribery act which forbade suppliers from taking you all out to lunch or to the races etc in case the cost of a meal would persuade you to improperly use a supplier it's rather uncommon to even have account managers anymore, which is actually a bit of a shame.

        The last party I remember was ~2008; it was on a weekday to celebrate a demerger and I didn't go. I walked in to the common room in the office the next morning and said "Morning!" cheerfully, to a variety of winces from people who were either still drunk or suffering hangovers. I was one of two sober people in the office, and the only sober person in the department. I remember it clearly.

        One chap came into the office, sat down and took off his sunglasses, winced and put them back on again. Another asked if we could turn down the volume of the phone.

        I answered it instead, and then almost died laughing to the great annoyance of my colleagues, and the horror of the chap who'd booked in somebody to visit him that morning. I ended up doing it instead as being the only sober person available.

        I don't think not going to parties ever hurt my career; I quite cheerfully went to thinly disguised "industry events" at Duxford etc which were always well attended. (well, the getting in and lunch was, if not the people at the suppliers stalls...)

        1. batfink

          Re: Mostly dicttorial twaddle...

          Same here - now that suppliers taking the teams out is frowned upon, it seems that it's only the politicians who can get away with it.

      3. fiddley

        Re: Mostly dicttorial twaddle...

        Cobblers to that. Best places I've ever worked have been where we all sneak off for an occasional cheeky one at lunch, and a less occasional cheeky lots on Fridays. The comraderie at those places meant we all stuck up for one and other and helped each other out. More than that I've picked up some firm friends from those places and I'm going back nearly 20 years in some cases, and we still help each other when we can.

        The places I've worked where everyone is too stuck up their own rear end to get a bit tiddly with their workmates have atmospheres during the workday that doesn't get anything done. Everyone is too busy projecting an image of professionalism while shirking any real work. Yet the ironic thing is they all act like they're the busiest people in the world and seem to pride themselves on arriving early every day only to spend an hour preparing their fruit tea, special k with fresh berries covered with almond milk and gossiping about whatever drivel they watched on the moron box the night before.

        I know which teams came out with the best results.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Mostly dicttorial twaddle...

          You just described the root cause for most problems in contemporary work culture, i.e. looking fscking professional while doing nothing productive. Or rather, being obstructive to prevent the rare people who produce something useful looking too good.

    2. julian.smith

      Re: Mostly dicttorial twaddle...

      This puts a spotlight on Japanese business culture

      - business cultures that all-but-compel employees to indulge in (after hours, unpaid) heavy drinking [YES].

      - sexist, with plenty of bullying [YES]

      ..expectations of heavy drinking [YES]

      The commentary calls for an end to unspoken codes that assume heavy after-hours drinking is part of doing business"

      The Chinese government is a lot smarter / single minded than some Western countries believed. Ask:

      - Canada: where they are facing the unfolding consequences of being an American poodle. My advice, give back Meng Wanzhou or get your ambassador out while you still can

      - Australia: where they shot their mouth off and it cost hundreds of millions of dollars per year in a series of targeted reprisals

      China is the world's second largest economy and their government:

      - has vision (it's not my vision but neither is America's)

      - thinks long term

      - has a long memory (are the British listening?)

      China is not going away any time soon.

  9. Howard Sway Silver badge

    venues have been told to report naughty songs to local authorities and the Ministry

    Yeah, but it's karaoke. The recordings don't have any words, they're on a screen for the punter to sing. I can imagine the drunks in China find it just as amusing as the drunks elsewhere do to "improvise" on the lyrics after too many bevvies. And stuff like "The Patriotic Anthem of the Central Discipline Committee" is probably a bit harder to do accurately when bladdered than "Come on Eileen".

  10. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "China is officially not very keen on that sort of thing"

    Officially, of course.

    In practice, Comrade Xi has his special waterhole and mistress waiting for him.

  11. Scott Broukell

    "report naughty songs"

    I thought for a brief moment that I was reading the outline of an hitherto unseen Monty Python sketch.

  12. Totally not a Cylon


    Does this include all the songs by Minions?.....

    Yellow, rowdy, indeterminate gender... (watch the films..)

    Smiley face because it's a Yellow Smiley.....

    1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

      Re: Minions?

      There is gratuitous violence, I grant you.

  13. sharpwolverine

    I think all my music can be placed in one or more of those categories. Even the instrumental only tracks.

    Bit overly broad. What about albums like 13th Step which is all about the down sides of drugs.

    Even their national anthem would be against this. That is very much promoting a cult.

  14. Nifty Silver badge

    How will the AI detect suspect songs when they're sung really, really badly?

  15. jonfr

    Everything is risk to national security

    It is clear that everything is a risk to national security in China. But this micro-management of a nation can only end one way. Its rather bloody and ends up in a civil war style war. This purity policy brought in by the current totalitarian dictator and whining loser in China is not going to result in anything good for people of China that currently have to live in this jail that has been constructed around them.

    1. julian.smith

      Re: Everything is risk to national security

      Oh, I thought that China had achieved a huge economic transition.

      China is now a rich country ... and there are plenty of Chinese who have shared a part of this.

      An anecdote.

      A couple of years ago (pre-covid) I was in Datca in Turkey. A beautiful place (check it out), far from tourist routes. The most prominent sign at the tourist office was in Chinese. This was for individual, self guided visitors.

      Your dated arrogance is ludicrous. You should get out more ... a lot more.

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