A legislator yesterday called for authorities to investigate the sale of Chinese-made, Internet-connected karaoke machines containing “propaganda songs.”
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) said she was approached by a person who had discovered Chinese patriotic songs such as My Motherland (我的祖國) — which is commonly referred to as China’s “second national anthem” — in Chinese-made karaoke devices sold in Taiwan.
The machines are popular, as they can connect to the Internet, providing access to thousands of songs, she said.
Photo courtesy of Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chen Ting-fei
One retailer, who asked to remain anonymous, said that the machines first entered the local market about three years ago, starting with karaoke booths installed at public venues.
There are seven brands of the Chinese-made devices sold in Taiwan, including home and commercial units, the retailer said.
While local companies selling karaoke machines in Taiwan must obtain copyright permission for songs — up to 20,000 on home units and 30,000 in commercial devices — the Chinese machines circumvent these rules, they said.
“The Chinese Internet-connected devices break Taiwan’s copyright laws, which is why they can claim to have more than 700,000 songs on them, and why companies selling or publicly using them often face lawsuits,” they said.
These devices invariably contain many songs that are sung by China’s military, or by other members of the Chinese Communist Party, they said, adding that music videos accompanying the songs show Chinese soldiers and weapons.
“Most of these devices come equipped with off-the-shelf boxes that connect to servers in China, which is where they get their content,” Chen said.
China uses pro-unification songs on the karaoke machines as part of its “united front” tactics, and Beijing could stream anything it wants to the devices, she said, adding that she had scheduled a meeting with members of the National Communications Commission and the Ministry of Economic Affairs to discuss the matter at the end of the month.
The Mainland Affairs Council also expressed concern over the content on the Chinese-made karaoke machines, saying that they breached the rights of Taiwanese artists, whose work is often used on the devices without their permission.
The council said it had already filed a lawsuit against Taiwanese companies selling the devices in August last year, and had also met with the commission and the ministry to discuss the issue.
OVERHAUL NEEDED: The government should improve its agricultural processing capabilities and expand to new markets to limit its reliance on China, an expert said China’s ban on Taiwanese pineapples was “unsurprising,” and Taiwan should have years ago altered its produce export strategies and target customers, experts said. China on Friday abruptly suspended imports of pineapples from Taiwan, saying that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful biological entities” on the fruit. Calling it an “unfriendly” move, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said that 99.79 percent of the pineapples sent to China since last year have met China’s import standards. Chiao Chun (焦鈞), the author of Fruits and Politics — A Recollection of Cross-strait Agricultural Interaction Over the Past Decade (水果政治學：兩岸農業交流十年回顧與展望), said that China’s announcement is clearly targeting
‘NOT COLD ENOUGH’: Schools are disregarding Premier Su Tseng-chang’s instruction that students may wear out-of-uniform clothing to stay warm, an association said An investigative report revealed that 72.5 percent of the nation’s senior-high schools and 95.6 percent of junior-high schools punish students for wearing unapproved winter clothes in contravention of educational guidelines, lawmakers and student rights advocates said yesterday. Speaking at a news conference at the Legislative Yuan, the Taiwan Youth Association for Democracy said there is an endemic disregard for the Ministry of Education’s regulations and that private schools are more likely to contravene ministry rules. The report is a compilation of 2,856 student reports about dress code reinforcement at 425 high schools and vocational high schools, the association said. Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌)
DISSATISFACTION? If the referendums collect more than 700,000 signatures each, they would have gotten the most signatures in the shortest time, the party said The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) two referendum petitions — one on banning the importation of pork with traces of ractopamine and the other on holding referendums on the same day as national elections — had as of Thursday gathered 691,398 and 674,497 signatures respectively, the party said yesterday. If the petitions collect more than 700,000 signatures apiece, they would have garnered the most signatures in the shortest time since the Referendum Act (公民投票法) was amended in 2017, party officials said. The KMT proposed the “anti-ractopamine pork” or “food safety” referendum just days after President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) announcement on Aug. 28 last
DECADES OF INFLUENCE: Over the past 20 years, China has made inroads with Aborigines, funding political campaigns and trips, a legislator said Lawmakers have called on the National Security Bureau to investigate claims of pervasive Chinese influence among Aboriginal communities. Legislators pointed to a surge in communist propaganda and Chinese-funded projects over the past few years, which they say are aimed at infiltrating and buying political influence among Aboriginal communities. “China has for decades carried out wide-ranging ‘united front’ tactics and propaganda campaigns targeting Aborigines,” said Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ying (陳瑩), a member of the Puyuma community in Taitung County. “Now, they are influencing elections for local councilors and village chiefs, offering money for candidates to mount their campaigns, and to