While it shouldn't come as a surprise, it's now official: China will censor online streaming music from Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu and others that will no doubt include Apple Music in 2016. This edict is the latest strike in a multi-year campaign to "cleanse" both the Internet and culture more broadly of material the ruling Communist Party might deem a threat to China's stability. The country already operates what experts say is one of the world's most sophisticated online censorship mechanisms, reports Reuters. The ministry has asked all online music platforms to submit information about their music to government officials commencing April 1.
On the flipside of the new laws, "The government has been trying to shake off the country's image as a market notorious for rampant music and entertainment piracy, issuing new regulations and punishments for offenders." So there could be some benefit for those complying with the new laws.
Reuters notes that "In August, the ministry banned a list of 120 songs from being distributed online because they were 'morally harmful.' A large chunk of the songs were made by a handful of hip-hop artists." If that's what it takes to kill off rap music, I only wish that all countries would adopt such laws (ha! Only kidding – (not really)).