After getting in to the Chinese search market, Google is preparing to counterstrike at the country’s top search engine “Baidu.com” as reported by WSJ. Baidu has remained China’s most dominant search engine in a large part to offering free, unlicensed music downloads.
According to the Wall Street Journal:
Google is in the final planning stages of a joint venture with an online Chinese music company that would allow them to provide free, licensed music downloads in China.
The service, which is likely to offer access to tunes from three global music companies as well as dozens of smaller players, could start in the next several weeks barring any last-minute hiccups.
While Google’s music is supposed to be licensed, the WSJ says Baidu’s downloads on the other hand are “controversial and legally risky” (sounds like Google’s YouTube, which also stores lots of music videos). The WSJ goes on to write:
The proposed venture goes directly after Baidu’s music search audience, by offering high-quality music files embedded with a digital “watermark” that lets record labels track how often their songs are downloaded. The idea: Better-quality files will draw users away from unlicensed downloads, and give labels and search companies valuable data needed to make money from advertising, say people familiar with the plans.
Last April, during a visit to Beijing, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said, “We were late entering the China market, and we’re catching up. Our investment is working and we will eventually be the leader.”
Google, China, Google China, Baidu.com, Music, Web Service, Music Service, Search Engine, Search Market