‘Glory to Hong Kong’ removed from several platforms as users and platforms ‘acknowledge legal obligation’
Published: Jun 15, 2023 09:17 PM
National Security Law

National Security Law

Before an injunction that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government has applied to the High Court to prohibit some illegal acts relating to "Glory to Hong Kong" comes into effect, several versions of the song have been removed from some major music-streaming providers and platforms such as Apple Music, iTunes, Spotify and KKBox, local media in Hong Kong reported on Thursday. 

A source close to Spotify confirmed with the Global Times on Thursday that the song was removed by a distributor, not the platform. 

The song is unavailable on other music platforms such as KKBox, YouTube Music, Facebook and Instagram Reels, according to media reports. 

The city's Department of Justice earlier applied for a court injunction to ban unlawful acts relating to the song, which is linked to the 2019 anti-government riots. The song then was used to instigate seditious activities.

Relevant documents related to the application for an injunction and interim injunction to prohibit four classes of acts relating to the song have been published for the public to download, according to a statement on the website of the HKSAR government published on Wednesday. The application for an interim injunction will be heard by the court on July 21.

The injunction requires prohibiting any broadcast, performance, publication or display of the song, the lyrics of the song, and the adaptation of the song that are substantially similar to the song in any way, including on the internet. At the same time, it is prohibited for anyone to help, cause, procure, incite, assist and abet others to commit or participate in, or knowingly authorize, permit or allow others to commit or participate in the above acts, Hong Kong media reported. 

Before the injunction takes effect, "Glory to Hong Kong" and other versions have already been removed from Apple Music, the music streaming platform owned by Apple Inc, and from the iTunes store, Hong Kong media reported. At present, the song isn't available on Apple Music and iTunes, and only the Taiwan version of "Glory to Hong Kong" remains in the top 10 of the iTunes chart. It is still available for search and playback. 

On other music platforms such as Spotify, KKBox and YouTube Music, the song cannot be played, while on the video platform YouTube, the song can still be searched and played, according to 

Apple did not reply to a request sent by the Global Times concerning the matter as of press time on Thursday. 

"With suspension and removal of the alleged pieces and work, the service providers and platforms have now acknowledged their obligations," Chu Kar-kin, a veteran current affairs commentator based in Hong Kong and a member of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, told the Global Times on Thursday. 

"The platforms now know what their rights are and what are right to do," he said, noting that the promulgation and distribution of songs with seditious lyrics and contents shall be prohibited.

Those users should consent the terms of the service agreement when they start and continue to use the platforms' services. The users are obligated to obey the law of jurisdiction the service providers are domiciled or services are located, Chu said.