Hong Kong Sports Federation Wants Google To Stop Ranking Pro-Democracy Song "Glory To Hong Kong" Higher Than China's National Anthem

Hong Kong's Sports Federation has urged the Hong Kong government to pressure Google to stop showing the pro-democracy song "Glory to Hong Kong" high up in search results. 

The Federation's statement comes after the song was played by mistake at a sporting event in Bosnia and Herzegovina on February 28 instead of the "March of the Volunteers", the official anthem of the People's Republic of China (PRC), which also serves as Hong Kong's anthem. 

"Crowd singing Glory to Hong Kong at New Town Plaza shopping mall in September 2019" by Studio Incendo is licensed under CC BY 2.0.


Pui Kwan-kay, honorary vice-president of the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China, said on Thursday (March 2) that the solution to the problem is to ensure that the wrong song is no longer placed high up in search engine results. 

"Glory to Hong Kong" (願榮光歸香港) was written by a local musician in his mid-20s who identified himself only as "Thomas". In late 2019, at the height of the pro-democracy protests, it became popular and was sung by people gathering in public spaces such as shopping malls and parks. It was considered the unofficial anthem of the movement. 

But as the PRC government in Beijing passed the National Security Law in 2020 and crushed the pro-democracy movement, the song can no longer be performed in public. 

In July 2020, the Hong Kong government outlawed any performance or broadcast of anti-regime political songs at schools, including "Glory to Hong Kong". Education Secretary Kevin Yeung stated that "schools must not allow students to play, sing or broadcast [Glory to Hong Kong] in schools."

In November last year a similar incident occurred when "Glory to Hong Kong" was played at the men's final of a rugby tournament in South Korea. The Hong Kong government subsequently requested that Google change its search results to display China's national anthem when users search for Hong Kong's national anthem, but the company refused. 

In June 2020, the Hong Kong government passed a National Anthem Law to "promote respect for the national anthem" and "provide guidance on the standard, etiquette, and occasions for playing and singing of the national anthem."

Offences, such as altering the anthem's lyrics, or singing 'in a disrespectful way', are punishable by a fine of up to HK$50,000 and three years in jail.