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Incoming: Linkin Park

Rap-metal outfit heading to Beijing

Early 2000s chart juggernauts Linkin Park are set to make a surprising return to China this summer. The band will be playing five dates across the country in July: in Nanjing, Shenzhen, Chongqing, Beijing and Shanghai.

Linkin Park were heavily promoted in the country at the height of their success and amassed a huge following here, leading to two tours of China - their first ever show in Shanghai was at Hongkou Stadium in 2007.

Chester Bennington, Mike Shinoda and co are now set to come down to Beijing's Mastercard Centre for a concert on Sunday 26 July.

The band last attempted to tour China in 2011, but were barred from doing so after they attended a youth media conference in LA that same year where they were extensively photographed with a certain exiled spiritual leader. The Chinese authorities took a dim view of all the hand-shaking and smiles and promptly nixed the entire tour.

Unfortunately, cancellations or bans of China shows for reasons of this nature are far from unheard of (James Blake in Shanghai being one of the more recent notable examples), but surprisingly in this case the authorities seem to have relented on what was originally thought to be an indefinite ban. Quite what has caused the change of heart in this case is unclear, but with five opportunities to see their heroes perform across the country, China-based Linkin Park fans won't be too bothered about the reasons.

And just in case they've forgotten, here's Mike Shinoda reminding fans on Weibo about the existence of his band ahead of the official China tour announcement:

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Linkin Park perform at the Mastercard Centre on Sunday 26 July. See full details here.

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