China’s All Singing, All Dancing Regulations


Gatsby might have hosted wild and extravagant parties, but bar life has always been a part of our entertainment, perhaps bringing a brief moment of relief and joy after a stressful day at work. However, as the old saying goes, “Without Order, there is Chaos”; in other words, everything in society needs basic rules and regulations. Bars, of course, are no exception.

Even France, normally a nation of romantics, imposes such necessary regulations. The country, in fact, banned large screens in bars and restaurants during the European championship on account of last year’s terror attacks and threats thereof. According to the French Security Service, there was not enough police to protect people who wished to watch the games. If people want to get together to watch the matches, they have to go to a designated fan section, as the government can provide strict security there and everyone can be kept safe, as opposed to damaging the bar and restaurant business by limiting numbers.

China, which has been paying great attention to social security, has also imposed strict regulations on entertainment venues, which are prone to potential safety hazards. According to the Regulations on the Administration of Entertainment Places, the following are prohibited in bars in China:

  1. Any jukebox in a singing and dancing entertainment establishment connected to a foreign song database;
  2. Songs played or video images shown at a singing and dancing entertainment establishment or gaming programs installed in electronic machines of a gaming entertainment establishment that contain content prohibited by Article 13 of the present Regulations;
  3. A singing and dancing entertainment establishment receiving minors;
  4. A gaming entertainment establishment that provides electronic gaming machines to minors on days other than statutory national holidays; or
  5. Persons in attendance at an entertainment place exceeding the stated maximum.
  6. Where any entertainment establishment violates the present Regulations, as well as being in violation of any of the following circumstances outlined in the final portion of this article, the competent department of culture at the county level shall confiscate illegal proceeds and properties, and impose a fine of up to 3 times the illegal proceeds. If there are no illegal proceeds, or such are less than ¥10,000, a fine of ¥10,000 shall be imposed, one that may also escalate to ¥30,000. If the circumstance are of a serious nature, the entertainment establishment shall be ordered to suspend its business.

Meanwhile, the government prohibits entertainment activities concerning the following content at an entertainment establishment:

  1. Violations of the fundamental principles specified in the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China;
  2. Disservices to the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the State;
  3. Disservices to the security, honour or interests of the State;
  4. Instigations of ethnic animosity or discrimination, damages to national sentiment or aggravations to ethnic customs and habits, or destructions to ethnic solidarity;
  5. Violations of State religious policies, or instigations of heresy or superstition;
  6. Instigations of obscenity, gambling, violence or drug-related crimes, or the abetting of others to commit crimes;
  7. Violations of social morality or excellent ethnic cultural heritage;
  8. Insults to, or the defamation of, others; or infringement of the lawful rights and interests of others; and
  9. Any other content prohibited by laws or administrative regulations.

China has always advocated active and healthy consumption concepts, so the necessary regulation and restraint is for the benefit of the development of the hospitality industry and also the safety and stability of society.


This article is intended solely for informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. Although the information in this article was obtained from reliable official sources, no guarantee is made with regard to its accuracy and completeness.

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Legal columnist Carlo D’Andrea is Chair of the Legal & Competition Working group of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China; Shanghai Chapter, Coordinator of the Nanjing Working Group of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in China and has taught Chinese law (commercial and contractual) at Rome 3 University. 法律作家代开乐担任中国欧盟商会上海分会法律与竞争工作组主席,中国意大利商会劳动集团的协调员与曾经在罗马三大担任企业咨询课程中中国商法、合同法的课程教授。