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Google to close music download service in China

Google to close music download service in China
Google Inc said on Friday that it will close a music download service in China, further reducing its presence in the world's most populous Internet market two years after the company closed its mainland search engine in a dispute over censorship and computer hacking.

Google said the 3-year-old service failed to achieve the market impact it wanted and will be shut down on 19 October.

The service, which was available only to computers with an Internet address in mainland China, was intended as a legal alternative to Chinese pirate music sites.

It shared advertising revenues with global and Chinese music companies that have seen their potential sales undercut by rampant unlicensed copying. 'The impact of this product is not as great as we expected, so we decided to shift resources to other products,' said an announcement on Google's company blog.

A Google spokesman said he could not provide information about revenues or the service's number of users. Google's share of China's search market has dwindled but the company says it still makes money selling advertising on its global sites to Chinese customers. Google's Android mobile phone operating system also is widely used in China.

Google, based in Mountain View, California, closed its mainland search engine in China in 2010 after saying it no longer wanted to cooperate with Beijing's Internet censorship following hacking attacks traced to China.

In June, the company added a feature to warn users whose accounts it believes are targets of 'state-sponsored attacks.' Mainland Web surfers can use Google's Chinese-language search engine in Hong Kong, which is Chinese territory but has Western-style civil liberties. However, the communist government's Internet filters make access slow.
PTI

PTI

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