A popular Hong Kong protest song was no longer available on Wednesday on several major music streaming sites and social media platforms, after the government sought an injunction to ban the tune.
Glory to Hong Kong rose to popularity during the 2019 pro-democracy protests, and became an unofficial protest anthem.
In 2020, the government outlawed the protest slogan Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times over secessionist and subversive connotations, and the song was widely considered to be banned in the city as its lyrics contained parts of the slogan.
Hong Kong, once a bastion of free speech and expression, has come under tighter scrutiny by Beijing after the unrest in 2019. Since then, its political system has undergone a major overhaul to ensure that only patriots loyal to Beijing can hold office.
More than 250 people have been arrested under a sweeping national security law passed in 2020 that critics say is aimed at suppressing dissent.
The song rose to the top of Apple iTunes' charts last week after the Hong Kong government sought an injunction from the courts to ban unlawful acts related to the song and any derivatives of it, including the lyrics and melody.
But the song was no longer available on music streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music on Wednesday. The original version of the tune was also not available on Facebook and Instagram's Reels function.
It wasn't clear if Glory to Hong Kong was removed by the platforms or if the song was pulled by its creators.
The creators of the song, DGX Music, said in a post on their Facebook page that it was dealing with some technical issues related to streaming platforms and apologised for the temporary issue.
Facebook, Instagram, Spotify and Apple Music did not immediately comment.
Versions of the song, including the one by the original creators, were still available on video-streaming site YouTube.
The Hong Kong government sought an injunction to ban the song after it was mistakenly played as the city's anthem at several international sporting events in the past year, instead of China's national anthem March of the Volunteers.
A Hong Kong court on Monday adjourned the injunction hearing to July 21.
During a regular news briefing on Tuesday, Hong Kong's leader John Lee said that the song was not compatible with national interest and that the city should proactively and also preventively safeguard national security.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)