New Baidu Music Includes Licenses

Top Chinese search engine Baidu is about to launch a new service of free downloads and online streaming of copyrighted music.

The move is seen as means for the company to “address criticism over how it handles copyright issues,” according to the Global Times.
The new social networking site, (“ting” means “listen” in Chinese), has set up a platform for music.

In contrast to Baidu’s mp3 music search feature, all the music in Ting is deemed legal for download or streaming. Foreign copyright holders have labeled Baidu’s music search function a market for pirated materials.

More than 500,000 songs in the Ting library are licensed from music labels from both inside China and outside. By the next quarter, the number is expected to rise to 1 million.

Right now, users can access the site only “by invitation,” so that Baidu can assess its viability.

The company has not said whether Ting will replace its mp3 service.