Chapter 7: The Chinese music industries: top down in the bottom-up age
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The Chinese government has greatly influenced the process of innovation within China’s music industries through its censorship, on the one hand, and direct policy and investment, on the other. Therefore, in this chapter ‘top down’, in the case of China, refers to governmental policy, investment and censorship, rather than a hierarchical recording industry structure that is dominated by major labels. This form of top-down control contrasts starkly with the emergent ‘bottom-up’ paradigm that has arisen in a number of countries in the West because of the internet. The interests of ‘cultural soft power’ are the main drivers behind the government’s top-down investment in the creative industries and, when combined with a virtual copyright anarchy and the intense scrutiny of governmental censorship, China has developed a unique brand of music industries innovation.

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