Hong Kong pop star Jacky Cheung has warned that a focus on profit over quality has caused a decline in China's music industry.
Jacky Cheung is one of China's biggest pop stars
He said young pop stars were expected to juggle singing and acting careers instead of developing their vocals.
"If our own industry doesn't take it
seriously, you can't expect others take it seriously," he said.
Cheung also criticised the fact that singers were only given a short time to prove themselves before being dropped.
"Once they debut they are expected to be up to par. In reality, that's not really possible," the 42-year-old said. "Before, you were allowed to evolve, but now you're not."
Hong Kong and Taiwanese pop stars are hugely popular in mainland China, Singapore and with Chinese communities overseas.
Over a 20-year career Cheung rose from working as a clerk to become one of Chinese pop music's biggest stars, whose world tours span four continents.
But he lamented a lack of creative talent in China's music industry, known for
its preponderance of ballads.
"Everyone is writing the same type of songs," he said. "There's less
variety," he said.