China's Ministry of Culture has implemented a new set of rules governing the online sale and distribution of foreign songs in the country, The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.

Online music sites, as well as search engines that provide links to songs, will have to obtain approval from the Chinese government for songs recorded outside the country, according to the newspaper.

Among the big internet companies that will have to comply with the new rules are Google, Baidu and Alibaba, which represents the Yahoo brand in China.

The Ministry of Culture said in a statement that the new rules are necessary to weed out 'bad content', a large amount of unapproved imported music and copyright violations, as well as to establish more supervision and regulation over the market, according to the Journal.

Online music providers will have to submit to the Ministry of Culture the lyrics of each foreign song, translated into Chinese, along with evidence proving they have permission from the copyright owners to sell and distribute the songs, the Journal reported.