The Ministry of Culture is cracking down on illegal music downloads through Baidu’s music sharing service and other websites, Reuters reports:
Xinhua, China’s official news agency, reported on Monday that the government will punish 14 websites that have provided illegal music downloads, including Baidu, China’s top search engine.
Xinhua reported that an official said the websites continued to provide that illegal downloads despite repeated warnings not to. Details regarding the punishment were not released.
“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,” said Kaiser Kuo, a Baidu spokesman, in an emailed statement to Reuters.
“Baidu will now take quick action to remove links to any files that have been identified by the ministry,” Kuo said.
Analysts said the move by China’s Ministry of Culture may rattle Baidu’s share price in the near term as uncertainty over the extent of the punishment lingers.