Apple Music China Removes Song that Refers Tiananmen Square

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Apple Music China Removes Song that Refers Tiananmen Square
Jacky Cheung

Freedom speech is something we hold dear in America. Even if we don’t agree, even if we hate, we have the right to say it. Around the world, however, some countries are stricter about these things. In the latest act censorship, Apple Music has allowed the removal the song, ‘The Path Man‘ a direct translation] from its Chinese streaming service.

“The youth are angry, heaven and earth are weeping… How did our land become a sea blood? How did the path home become a path no return?”

Tiananmen Square Massacre– a recap

The ‘Path Man‘ briefly refers to a tragic event in Chinese history: the Tiananmen Square Massacre 1989. The Chinese refer to it as the June Fourth Incident. During this time, student-led protests erupted across Beijing. They were fighting for basic human rights like freedom expression and freedom for the press, but on May 20th the government declared martial law. Since the military was in charge now, they were able to use violence against the demonstrators. Ultimately, this resulted in a massacre. The Chinese government has kept the details under wraps, including the real number casualties.

The shadiest part about this, though, is how they have been able to censor this information to the point where even a song can’t mention this dark piece Chinese history. The artist, Jacky Cheung, is a Hong Kong songwriter and actor. Yet, he isn’t the only artist who’s been removed from Chinese streaming services.

Is Apple Succumbing to Chinese Censorship?

It’s not a secret that the internet in China is meticulously censored. What is surprising is Apple’s willingness to go along with the wishes the Chinese government. The country has been instrumental in the development technology and the modern world.

Back in 2018, Apple moved iCloud accounts registered in mainland China to state-run Chinese servers. Amnesty International had this to say when the change occurred, “The changes being made to iCloud are the latest indication that China’s repressive legal environment is making it difficult for Apple to uphold its commitments to user privacy and security.” 

It will be interesting to see whether or not this trend Apple giving in to China’s wishes continues.