Spotify says distributor removed ‘Glory to Hong Kong’ amidst Chinese government crackdown seeking to ban all forms of the protest song.
A pro-democracy protest anthem, “Glory to Hong Kong,” was pulled from Spotify and other streaming platforms by the distributor — according to Spotify — amidst the Chinese government’s continued quest to ban the protest song in all forms.
The song is associated with the 2019 protests and civil unrest. It recently dominated the Apple iTunes charts after the Chinese government sought legal injunctions to ban “unlawful acts” associated with the song, its melody, lyrics, and all derivatives.
On Monday, June 12, the Chinese government submitted a writ to ban the “broadcasting, performing, printing, publishing, selling, offering for sale, distributing, disseminating, displaying, or reproducing” the song “Glory to Hong Kong,” including on the internet, for secessionist or seditious purposes or with intent to violate the national anthem law. Further, anyone assisting others in committing such acts relating to the song would also be criminally liable and would face charges from the CCP government.
On Wednesday, June 14, the song disappeared from Apple Music and Spotify, while some sources report that versions on Facebook and Instagram also vanished. Meanwhile, some variations of the song still exist on Soundcloud and YouTube.
The song had previously been banned in schools across China, but the government had, until the recent legal injunctions, refused to say if the song itself was illegal.
In June 2020, Beijing inserted national security legislation into Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, bypassing the local legislature, following a year of pro-democracy protests and unrest. The act criminalized subversion, secession, collusion with foreign forces, and “terrorist acts,” — broadly defined as disruption to transport and infrastructure.
Facebook and Instagram parent company Meta, nor Google, Apple, Soundcloud, and other streaming platforms have responded to media requests for comment.