Shanghai – China’s leading search engine Baidu (NASD: BIDU) plans to
launch its own digital music service in May, following lawsuits and continued
pressure on the company from record labels to crack down on unauthorized
content available from its music search service, Reuters reported.
spokesman Kaiser Kuo told Reuters the Baidu Ting service will offer streaming,
downloads and social networking elements, and will be supported in part by
The company has already signed a licensing deal with the Music
Copyright Society of China for the service — which reportedly also covers major label
EMI — and is in talks with the other major labels as well.
The labels lost their
copyright infringement suit against Baidu last year, when a local court ruled
the search engine was not in violation of the law.
Still, the U.S. recently
highlighted Baidu as a haven for piracy in a report from the U.S. Trade