The Chinese government is penalizing Baidu.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU) for allowing users to download music illegally. The government is penalizing 14 different websites for illegal music downloads, which include Baidu. The Xinhua news agency in China reported this matter today. These websites were repeatedly warned about the illegal music downloads.
Baidu spokesman Kaiser Kuo said that the company will act quickly to remove links that were identified by the government. “We are aware that songs require approval and have sought to comply with previous notifications from the ministry of culture. But search engine indexing is a continuous process and some files may have reappeared in results,” stated Kuo.
Baidu plans on launching a licensed music search in May. They have an agreement in place with the Music Copyright Society of China to pay them royalties for every song downloaded through Baidu Ting. The music service would be supported with advertising. Baidu’s MP3 music search option has been criticized by U.S. records labels for piracy issues.