By CHERIE HU
The past few years have seen a wealth of international talent breaking through to the mainstream, with artists from countries like South Korea, Nigeria, Colombia and Australia having climbed to the top of the charts.
One country that’s been missing from the party: China. Though home to about 20% of the world’s population, and despite every major label and concert promoter maintaining an office there, virtually no Chinese acts have broken into the mainstream at the same level as other regional-turned-global genres, like K-pop and música urbana. (There are several potential reasons for this gap — from perceived language barriers, to metadata and payment challenges for artists and songwriters, to Chinese regulations with murky criteria around what constitutes acceptable content.)
But that doesn’t mean China is absent from the business of music. Quite the opposite: While the country may not be churning out global hits, its tech conglomerates are financially participating in the global operations that make those hits possible.