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SHANGHAI, CHINA: Google has launched a free music search service in China that will give users access to free downloads of licenced songs, while capturing advertising revenue for music providers in a market already infamous with piracy.
The service poses a challenge to Baidu.com, the #1 search engine in China, along with other Chinese search engines, faced lawsuits charging that it facilitates copyright violations through downloads of unlicensed music.
Google said its service would initially let Internet users search tens of thousands of Chinese songs by singer or song title on its website and download them from Top100.cn, a Chinese music website co-founded by basketball star Yao Ming. Advertising revenue from the service will be shared among Top100.cn and google’s music partners aiding in the search.