image sourceGetty Imagesimage captionChina has more than 50,000 "song and dance entertainment" across the country

China is set to ban karaoke songs that contain "illegal content", its Ministry of Culture and Tourism has announced.

Songs that fall under this category include those that endanger national unity, sovereignty or territorial integrity.

Those who provide content to karaoke venues have been urged to review the songs and flag up to the ministry those that are potentially harmful.

The rules are due to come into effect on 1 October.

Other songs that are set to be banned include those which:

  • Incite ethnic hatred and ethnic discrimination
  • Endanger national security or harm national honour and interests
  • Violate the state's religious policies
  • Propagate obscenity, gambling, violence and other criminal activities

China has more than 50,000 "song and dance entertainment" venues across the country, according to the ministry.

It added that it was difficult for venue operators to identify illegal songs, given that some had music libraries of more than 100,000 songs – which was why they were encouraging content providers to take more responsibility.

This is not the first time China has banned songs from karaoke venues.

In 2018, some 6000 songs were dropped because of copyright infringement.

Censorship is common in China, with social media companies routinely removing content that is perceived to be threatening to social stability or the ruling Communist Party.

media captionJournalist Karoline Kan explains how Chinese social media is censored.