Shanghai – China’s top search engine Baidu (NASD: BIDU) is set to be
"punished" by the Chinese government for failing to remove links to
illegal music downloads, according to a report by the Xinhua official state
news agency.

Details of the punishment were not released, but Baidu is one of
14 sites set to be reprimanded.

"We are aware that songs require approval
and have sought to comply with previous notifications from the ministry of
culture. But search engine indexing is a continuous process and some files may
have reappeared in results," Baidu spokesperson Kaiser Kuo told Xinhua.

Baidu was cleared of liability for providing "deep links" to
unauthorized downloads hosted on third-party sites in a case brought by major
record labels in 2008 and decided last year.

Last month, the U.S. Trade
Representative called out Baidu in its list of "notorious markets"
where copyright and counterfeit goods are available online.


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