Hits by Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Katy Perry and Take That are among 100 songs placed on an internet blacklist by the Ministry of Culture in China.
Music websites have been given until 15 September to remove the offending tracks, which are seen as harming ''national cultural security''.
Those that fail to do so risk being prosecuted.
The internet in China is tightly controlled, with content deemed inappropriate often blocked or removed.
A notice posted on the ministry's website said the 100 songs had not been submitted for official approval.
The BBC reports most of the banned songs are from Taiwan or Hong Kong, with several from Japan.
Six tracks by Lady Gaga are banned. The list also includes a track by the Backstreet Boys which was released more than a decade ago.