August 06, 2008, 11:52 AM — Google hopes the introduction of a free music search download service in China will help it challenge the country's dominant search engine, Baidu.
Google's new music service allows Chinese web users to search for tracks online, before downloading them legally from music service Top100.cn. Visitors to Google's new service can search for music by artist, song or album, and then download the tracks for free
The service will be backed by advertising, with revenue split between Google, Top100 and the music labels. As part of the deal, Google has invested an as-yet-unknown amount in Top100.
Baidu currently accounts for around 70 percent of web searches in China, while Google is playing catch up with 20 percent of the market. However, the Chinese language Baidu site has drawn scorn from music labels in the country for providing links to illegal download sites.