03/30/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

China Cracks Down On Subversive Karaoke Bars

Clifford Coonan, The Independent

One of China's most beloved institutions is being targeted by a government crackdown on vulgarity and dissent, as more and more karaoke parlours are fitted with a surveillance system that informs officials when illegal music and pornographic videos are downloaded.

The southern city of Chongqing is the latest area to have the national karaoke content management system, or the "Black Box", installed in its karaoke bars. The device is designed to monitor the playlist remotely and automatically alerts police. Last month nearly 180 bars in the city were fitted with the system.

In some cases, a red light flashes at the local police headquarters when a forbidden song is chosen. The system has been discussed for years but installation only began recently.

Read more at The Independent