Bandcamp is reportedly blocked in China, potentially limiting independent labels and artists across the country. Multiple sources have revealed the music platform is no longer accessible to users in China, as of February 16th. This is presumedly because the government is unable to restrict its content. The country’s “Great Firewall” is notorious for blocking websites and censoring content — and Bandcamp appears to be the latest target, despite it being a popular platform for indie bands.
This news comes just weeks after Bandcamp locked in a deal with Chinese-run Taihe Music Group, which along with Maybe Mars, includes indie labels Ruby Eyes Records, IndieWorks, and more. Ironically enough, Taihe hoped the deal would initiate “music exchange and mutual learning between Chinese and overseas musicians.” This couldn’t be more frustrating for the labels and artists who’ve experienced one exciting step forward and a devastating leap back. There are ways around the “Great Firewall,” like VPN access, but the scope of this issue is much more than just finding a work around.
RADII China weighs in, “Unfortunately, it seems the blocking of Bandcamp may throw up a barrier for artists hoping to reach international audiences who want to explore the extremely diverse, fascinating Chinese music scene.”
Explore Chinese music and artists via Bandcamp here.
Sources: RADII China, Noisey