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I earn my living as an IT system administrator. Obviously, the news that Google stops censoring search results in China was quite a bomb for me. This is the biggest impact on politics and censorship in modern media that a single decision by a software firm has, or better, will have on the world and everyday life. At least I can not remember anything similar from the top of my head. Also, nice move from Google for not only telling the world they might do this, but for actually doing it. For whatever their motives might be, it’s a bold move nonetheless, given the weight the Chinese market will undoubtly have in the future.

As I thought about this whole thing for a while, putting the first obvious positives aside – being able to get an “outside view” on China through possibly less filtered and tuned news channels and websites – I wondered: how big will the impact on the music scene in China be? Will this be a chance for artists and new music to pour into the land? Or maybe, pour out of it? I mean, let’s be honest: China is more or less ruled like a totalitarian state, and history shows us that the censorship of those states make quite an impact on the music scene as well. One example I can think of is the government in East Germany/the DDR, where Beat music (think Beatles and Co), Punk and other music genres surfaced, tolerated or “shaped” to reflect the opinions of those in charge of the country, just to fade out of existence completely a year or so later. Without anyone even to mention that such bands existed or were promoted by the regime.

In China, this might not be any different. I’m sure that there is a big scene of underground artists, playing songs with lyrics against their government, or just music that is not deemed “worthy” to represent China’s culture to the outside world so to say. Maybe the fall of Google censorship is a new way for the people to discover such artists, that are promoted only on sites and sources outside of China. Or, maybe the influence of new music and media available with relative ease (I think it might still beĀ  achore here and there to really obtain absolute unfiltered results and web sources there…) will help breed a completely new wave of modern Chinese music. This might be interesting to observe…

Just my two cents from the top of my head. I wonder what music actually IS hip and modern in China right now anyways… Nice little research project for after work I guess. Open for recommendations and hints regarding the matter though! =)

I think it was a nice gesture, but it's just too easy for China to block the new offshore site. So far they haven't, but how long will that last? It's a catch-22 because a company doesn't want to have to impose censorship so they take a stand, but as soon as China blocks the site they've also returned the Chinese to limited/no choices.

Like you said, this will be very interesting to observe

Nice read, your perspective is one I hadn't considered before and I like that.
I'm going with Willie here on the fact that this will probably get nowhere, China will find a way around this.

Good article. I'm currently studying in China and very interested in how this will play out. Music is definitely big here, but hardly any attention is given to non-Chinese music, let alone genres as metal, punk and such. Popular music is usually the rather standard Cantonese and Mandarin pop which revolve around disgustingly sweet hooks. It's really a step below Western pop at that, which it clearly triest to imitate. I have to admit I don't listen to Chinese radio, but on the streets you hear the same songs over and over. Any Western music being played is usually things like Michael Jackson and The Backstreet Boys. Yes. Really.

Concerning the whole censorship question, I suppose it will be re-enforced and Google might be blocked entirely if this does go through. It's interesting to wonder whether China can really afford to block Google at this stage of opening up to the rest of the world and becoming an initiative-taking nation. Still, a country as massive and internally diverse as China can sadly probably only be ruled through this way of government. That's how I see it after spending time here. Again, great article.

maybe there will be a chinese Laibach, idk

I doubt it Meatplow, as much as you're heart's desire may deem.

This is cool

Very interesting. Good to hear Google is finally taking a stand and doing things the way they want!

great article dood, this is pretty crazy. i wonder how all the chinese people will react over time

I never thought about this before. This could indeed have huge results, and China blocking Google altogether at this point would seem hazardous to its development. If the Sputnik Blog is full of stuff like this, I'll certainly be hooked.

China is gonna fucking nuke Google headquarters. We're doomed.

This is quite interesting, though as much as China is "opening up" I'm sure the majority of the world still sees it as a party-run government with very limited freedoms. I'm not sure that China blocking google would have a huge impact, or much impact at all on the world stage.

My friend who just got back from a 3-year stint in China relayed to me the girth of the apparently flourishing hardcore scene in the cities, specifically Beijing and Nanjing. It'll be interesting to see if it does affect the music, but the impression I've always gathered from him was that the Chinese were almost proud of their classical xenophobia when it comes to music/art.
Very interesting read Damrod.

the only chinese band i can think of off the top of my head is Zuriaake.

Well that certainly didn't last long. Good for Google.

[quote]From what I've been told, Google only represents 2-3% of the Chinese search engine market and most people use a more popular Chinese version. Some folks though Google might have shot itself in the foot taking on China to begin with.[/quote]

Actually that's what it was about 5 years ago, today Google makes up about 36% of the search market compared to Baidu Inc who makes up 58%.

I was pretty excited to hear about this. Google is really just the greatest company ever.

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