Leading Chinese Search Engine Hit Over Music Downloads

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A major search engine in China has been warned that it will be punished by the government for providing access to unauthorized MP3s.

The huge Baidu company, which employs around 11,000 staff and has Li Yanhong – China’s richest man – as CEO, has had multiple run-ins with the Chinese authorities over copyright issues.

Now, it seems, the government has run out of patience.

According to Xinhuanet, China’s Ministry of Culture announced this morning that Baidu and 13 other websites will be given as-yet unspecified punishments for continuing to offer MP3 downloads even after they were warned to stop. Baidu is yet to comment on the news.

Last month the Ministry of Culture issued an order for the authorities to take legal action against a total of 54 websites who provided unauthorized music. On the same day, March 17, 100 similar services were warned to disable access to infringing material before April 30.

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