Prior to the upcoming 30th anniversary of the June 4th student movement, Apple Music removed a theme song from China that had been in a Hong Kong movie. The title of the song was “A Human’s Path (人间道).” it was the theme song in the famous film “A Chinese Ghost Story II” which was released in 1990. It was produced by the late Hong Kong musician Huang Zhan. Huang Zhan mentioned in a video interview a few years later that many Hong Kong people had already emigrated abroad before and after 1989, and everyone who stayed in Hong Kong was confused about the future. However, when he saw the Tiananmen incident, he felt terrible. He said during the interview that no one at the time knew what the song was referring to, but he wanted to put “emotions secretly into this song.” After Apple Music removed this song, many Chinese major online music sites such as “Xiami” or ” NetEase Cloud Music” also followed up to remove the song.
In recent years, Apple Music removed the works of the Hong Kong democracy movement musicians including Anthony Wong Yiu-ming (黄耀明), Denise Ho (何韵诗) and all the works of the singer Bobby Chen (陈昇) who is accused of (favoring) “Taiwan independence.” In addition, Apple Music removed the songs that were said to be related to the Tiananmen Square incident, including “Time Flies Soundlessly (岁月无声)” by the famous Hong Kong-known band “Beyond,” “Don’t Ruin it (別去糟蹋)” by the mainland band “Black Panthers,” and Cui Jian’s album “Balls Under the Red Flag (红旗下的蛋)” as well as the famous American band “Guns and Roses” album “China’s Democracy.”
Apple’s ban on songs has once again caused concern about the political compromises that the technology leaders have been unable to evade after entering the Chinese market. When companies such as Google or Apple entered the Chinese market, they all said they would abide by relevant Chinese laws and regulations.
The ban, however, has caused discussions on the internet. Many people started looking for this song to listen to it. In China’s famous video sharing platform “Bilibili 哔哩哔哩,” there is still a film by singer Jacky Cheung at the concert singing the song “A Human’s Path (人间道).” People’s comments showed that they understand very well what the lyrics were implying. One post stated. “The intention is not to let people mention it and prevent the topic from fermenting.” Another post said the song was “brave.”
So far, Apple has not responded about this matter.
Source: BBC Chinese, April 11, 2019