Last Week in China – Baidu, Blogger and a China Summer Ends
Some of the more noteworthy news tidbits that happened in China last week.
Baidu wins lawsuit over MP3’s
A bit more than a week ago Chinese search engine Baidu won a MP3 copyright infringement case lawsuit, brought to court by 7 of the world’s largest music companies, among them Warner and Sony.
Baidu ‘helps’ its users to find mp3 files by a specialized mp3 search engine. It’s one of the reasons why Baidu is very popular. They help you even to find the top 100 [links to translated version of the page]. Before you can download they show a pro forma screen telling you that Baidu attaches great importance to the protection of intellectual property rights.
The Beijing No.1 Intermediate People’s Court overseeing the case ruled that the accusations brought against the Chinese search giant do not have adequate legal support.
“This is good news for us and it will foster the cooperation between Internet companies and the music industry,” Lesley Zhang, an official with Baidu, said.
The music companies don’t see the verdict as good news and will appeal. The thing is that, unless the central government really wants intellectual property rights to be respected, it will take some time before the mp3 search will be disabled. For Baidu it’s great way to force the music labels to negotiate a deal.
Baidu Bookmarks Social
Baidu enters the Social Bookmarking frenzy.
“The new service will be under the sub-domain name “cang.baidu.com”, cang is the Chinese pinyin for collection. The sub-domain is accessible already, though the service is expected to be available later this month.
According to the introduction in the webpage, Baiduâ€™s social bookmarking service will not only save your favorite links but also save the full text on the links automatically. Of course, you can search your bookmarks conveniently with Baiduâ€™s search technology. If the links you saved was broken, Baiduâ€™s cached page can help you to read them again.”
There are many social bookmarking sites in China, the most popular so far is 365key.com.
I can imagine some copyright infringement situations here. Especially in case they start to plaster their cached web with ads. Given their popularity there’s a chance social bookmarking will become more mainstream. I’ll keep track.
The Summer of …
Porn is still a sensitive issue in China, on and offline. A daring entrepreneur stepped in the Chinese online porn wasteland but has to pay for it dearly.
He started the Qingseliuyuetian (pornographic summer) website in 2004 and opened a further three porn websites, attracting more than 600,000 users.
He was tracked down after, “a hospital website had changed to become the homepage of a porn website”.
He has been jailed for life.
Google Zeitgeist China September
Google Zeitgeist China has been updated with the September data. Most of the popular searches are, as before, related to entertainment. The seasonal search is for Teacher’s Day.
Blogger unblocked again
Lastly but not least, blogspot blogs can be read again in China. Recently they unblocked Wikipedia and once the world had written about it, they made it unavailable. It’s an ongoing saga, block, unblock and it won’t stop I’m afraid.
This pretty much wraps it up for this week. Well almost, in case you like to know what Chinese really search for (Not just Google Zeitgeist), check out the labs at Sogou.com . Sogou is the search engine of Sohu and has released search data for you to play with. If you can read it of course. Another hat tip to China Web 2.0 Review
Gemme van Hasselt is an Internet Marketing Consultant, living in Shanghai, China. His musings on life can be found on China Snippets