In the land of trampled copyright laws and rampant copying of licensed books or patented products, Google Inc is boldly announcing its launch of free legal music downloads in the word’s biggest population, China. Free downloads of licensed songs are available and the service via Google’s search engine.
Google currently offers more than 350,000 high quality songs from Chinese and foreign artists signed by Sony Music, Warner Music, EMI and Universal Music. According to Lee Kai-Fu, president of Google in China, one reason Google lagged in the mainland search market was because it did not offer music downloads, the missing piece to its strategy in a market where it trails leader Baidu.com Inc. With this free song for download service, Google hopes to increase its market shares in the country’s search market substantially. Currently China Baidu holds more than 60 percent of the web search market in China, more than double Goolge’s share. Google will split the advertising revenue share with Sony Music, Warner Music, EMI and Universal Music.
People from China can get access to this service and download their favorite songs and music via the link here. However, users from foreign countries who are not connected to the Internet from China will not be able to download the songs.