Internet giant Google on Monday launched an online music service in China, the Wall Street Journal reported. The service, now officially operational following a seven-month test period, is free to use in China. Revenue will be generated through ad sales on the website. Users can download or stream music from more than 140 labels, including Warner Music Group, Universal Music, EMI Group and Sony Music Entertainment. Google hopes the service will allow it to increase its share of the internet search market. Local firm Baidu, the dominant search provider in China, owes its popularity in part to specialized search pages that lead users to unlicensed music tracks online. Google’s partner in the venture is Top100.cn, a Chinese web site in which the US firm already holds a stake. Record companies will take about half the revenues from ads on web pages used to download or stream their songs.
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