Google rolls out free music search service in China

Google launched a music search service in China that allows users to access music legally online in a forum backed by some record labels and supported by advertising revenue, an Associated Press report said.

Paid music downloads in China are virtually nonexistent, and Apple's iTunes digital music store is not offered there. Downloadable pirated versions of songs are widely available for free online.

Google's service, called Music Onebox, directs users to Top100.cn, a site that names as an investor basketball star Yao Ming, to download or stream music for free, the Associated Press report added.

Users outside China are blocked from accessing the music, it added.

Top100.cn is a Beijing-based web site that already has licensing agreements with about 100 labels. Talks are ongoing with Sony BMG and Warner Music Group to become partners.

Google said it is not participating in any of the advertising revenue from the site.

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