Nowadays, many foreign styles have entered to China and it is not rare to hear international artists, but also Chinese artist playing famous songs in Mandarin, or creating their own compositions.
There are two important annual events in China, the Midi Modern Music Festival in Beijing and Snow Mountain Music Festival in Yunnan Province. Western media used the term "Chinese Woodstock" for these two series of concerts.
Both join a significant number of young people in these non official festivals, despite the restrictions of the Chinese government which still affect the development of new styles.
The East of China, which has been in permanent contact with Western, is more predisposed to assimilate the modern music than the rest of the country. The cultural, political and social differences that exist within the nation, can also be seen in the music.
The Chinese rock began its growing in China with singer-trumpeter-guitarist, Cui Jian during the 1980s. Today, rock music is concentrated principally in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and Wuhan; but in general, it has not had a big influence over Chinese society.
The most famous rock singer, Cui Jian was the first Chinese using an electric guitar in the song "I Have Nothing". He has cited the Sex Pistols, Sting, Rolling Stones, and the Beatles as his main influences -Cui played with Mick Jagger in 2003.
During the early 1990s, two rock bands became popular: Hei Bao (Black Panther), an old-school rock band featuring English songs; and Tang Dynasty, the first Chinese heavy metal band, who combined elements of traditional Chinese opera and the heavy metal.
In the mid-1990s appeared the first thrash metal band, Chao Zai (Overload). During this time also appeared the first punk rock singer, He Yong with a nu-metal style and influenced by Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park. Then, other bands were formed, principally in Beijing such as Yaksa, Twisted Machine, AK-47 and Overheal Tank.
Currently, the Chinese pop music could be more popular than rock. One of the most famous pop artists is Anita Mui, who was influenced by the Madonna style and founded the gangtai culture. The country also boasts an increasing number of artists are interpreting Hip hop & rap rhythms.
In China, there are a classical pop style called shidaiqu (c-pop), created by Li Jinhui after the fall of the Qing dynasty. C-pop is divided in two sub-styles, the cantopop from Hong Kong, and the mandopop from the rest of the mainland and Taiwan.