The Straits Times
Published on Sep 21, 2012

Google shuts once-feted China music download service


SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - Google Inc said on Friday it will shut its once-popular China music download service next month, in a sign of how far the fortunes of the world's biggest search engine have fallen in China.

Launched in 2009 with a local partner, the Google Music Search was meant to be a legal music search competitor to Baidu Inc's popular music service, which at the time was providing users with links to copyright-infringing music.

But in early 2010, Google announced it would no longer be willing to comply with Chinese laws and censor searches in the world's largest Internet market.

As a result, the firm moved its Chinese site to Hong Kong and saw its overall search-market share dwindle. Since then, Baidu's overall share continued to grow and last year, Baidu launched a legal music search in a landmark deal with record labels.