China’s nonstop music machine

October 2008


There’s an interesting article on website The Register looking into the operations of Chinese search engine Baidu, Chinas biggest search engine (far bigger than Google with a 70% market share) which provides a MP3 search engine which provides easy access to online sources of digital music, predominantly illegal unlicensed services. This service was been found to be legal by the Chinese courts after Baidu argued that they didn’t actually host any illegal content – merely linked to it. However the Chinese courts then later found Yahoo! guilty for running a similar service and Baidu now face a second case. The Register have noted that Baidu is one of China’s big internet success stories and at the end of last year it started to trade its shares on the New York based NASDAQ stock exchange – and is valued at $12 billion – and wonders what the implications were for investors. The Register also note that the Chinese government is starting to crack down on corporate infringers in their country as a result of pressure from the West – earlier this year Chinese authorities fined one of Baidu’s albeit smaller rivals, Zhongsou, and seized their servers in relation to a similarly infringing MP3 search service.

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