The Chinese Ministry of Culture recently ordered 120 songs erased from the web, citing their “immoral nature” as the reason for their takedown.
Many of the songs have been around for at least a decade, says reporter Beimeng Fu, who has been reporting on the censored songs for BuzzFeed.
Take MC HotDog’s song, “I Love Taiwanese Girls.”
Sure, the lyrics may be a bit dirty, says Fu, but they’re not obscene. “Everybody goes to karaoke places to sing it,” she says. “There’s only one lyric in the song saying, ‘I don’t like mass Chinese, I like Taiwainese girls.’ Maybe it has a little bit of a political connotation, but it has been so popular for years."
“I Love Taiwanese Girls” is not the only banned song that has people scratching their heads as to why. “College Selfstudy Room” by Hao Yu was also banned.
Hardly obscene or immoral, “College Selfstudy Room” is simply about a guy having a hard time finding a quiet place to study.
“When I was attending university, I heard this song many times and I found it humorous. I found it echoed my personal college life. So I didn’t find it any problem, but it's banned,” Fu says.
Fu thinks this latest list of banned songs is part of increasingly tight censorship in China. “In April this year, some Japanese [Manga] was banned in China; books have been banned for sure, music, movies. I think they are trying to control information better to purify the society to keep the way a socialist country should be,” she says.