This article will discuss the impact of COVID-19 on Chinese cultural industries, in particular independent music based on live interviews with musicians, venue owners, labels and others in the Chinese music industry. On the one hand there are many state employees in the cultural industries, who are somewhat protected from immediate employment impacts; on the other there are many private sector companies, especially in Music, TV and Film, who have been severely impacted. China’s social protections are not high, but at the same time neither are expectations of state help in terms of loss of income. In the music industry, the closing of all venues has had an inordinate impact on the already suffering “independent” sector (mainly due to lockdowns), with many music venues especially not expected ever to re-open. We ask whether the crisis forces the sector to re-evaluate its cultural value positioned in a heightened commercialised music industry.
- cultural and creative industries
- cultural policy
- Chinese indie music
- live streaming
- sub-cultural capital