This is the pro-democracy music Apple removed in China
- Fast Company
The Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989 is something the Chinese Communist Party is still trying hard to erase from the history books. It’s willing even to censor songs that refer to it,
The company has removed a song by singer Jacky Cheung from the mainland China version of its Apple Music service, reports the Hong Kong Free Press.
The song’s lyrics refer directly to the Tiananmen Square Massacre, the 30th anniversary of which comes in June. “The youth are angry, heaven and earth are weeping . . . How did our land become a sea of blood? How did the path home become a path of no return?” the lyrics of Cheung’s “Ren Jian Dao” (“Path of Man”) go.
The song, composed by the late musician James Wong, was released in 1989, the same year as the massacre, when Chinese troops killed scores of pro-democracy demonstrators.
The Chinese government mandates the censorship or blocking of any content on the mainland internet that relates to the massacre, and the effort tends to ramp up ahead of big anniversaries.
Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch, wrote on Twitter that the removal of the song was “spectacularly craven.”
Spectacularly craven, even by @apple@tim_cook standards–which is saying something. Apple Music in #China removes Jacky Cheung song with reference to Tiananmen massacre https://t.co/1u6n36Oelm via @hongkongfp
— Sophie Richardson (@SophieHRW) April 9, 2019