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China clamps down on miming musos

Ministry of culture pulls plug on lip-synch

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China's ministry of culture has announced a clampdown on miming professional musos, marking an end to lip-synching and fake guitar strumming, the Guardian reports.

The ministry's Sun Qiuxia said it would first "consult with the public over the next few weeks, before agreeing final details of new rules on commercial performances". Said rules are a "two strikes and you're out" attack - those who "pretend to play their instruments twice or more in a two-year period" face a possible revocation of their business licences.

According to singer Zheng Jun, "less than 20 per cent of stars actually sang at their live shows". He bemoaned: "I really don't know what sort of an industry I'm involved in. I once met a well-known singer at a show who didn't even recognise his song as it was playing, because it had been so long since he'd truly performed it."

The Guardian notes the new regs will not affect amateur performers such as Lin Miaoke, who famously mimed Ode to the Motherland at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. The ditty was actually performed by Yang Peiyi.

The move does, however, mean that the Sydney Symphony orchestra is probably off the Chinese gig circuit. ®

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