The nerds of Google team up with basketball star Yao Ming to provide free music to the Chinese masses
Internet users in China will now be able to download music by commercial artists free of charge thanks to a partnership between Google, Inc. and a team of investors, including basketball player Yao Ming.
Yao Ming helped start the website, top100.cn, in 2006; Google became interested as an investor in 2007 and now plans on sharing revenue generated by advertisments on the site with participating record labels. This deal seems as though it well benefit all parties –
- China’s internet users will get free music (although legally this time – it is estimated that 99% of all song files in China are illegal, and that 90% of Chinese internet users download music illegally every day through search engines),
- The record labels will recover losses sustained to Chinese internet users through ad-revenue sharing with Google,
- And Google could stand to gain major ground as a search engine in China, where it is the second-most used engine behind Baidu.com.
Unfortunately for us foreigners, only Chinese internet users will be able to take advantage of the service, as I discovered for myself the hard way. I guess we’ll just have to wait for LeBron James to start a similar service.