Hu Haiquan (Weibo) is a musician of a Chinese two-men vocal band Yu Quan (Weibo Page). The band celebrated its fifteenth anniversary this year. As of the most successful musicians in China, the two witnessed the China music industry in the Heyday and then declined thanks to the rise of digital music and massive music piracy in online and offline China.

The Chinese Internet giants are not older than the band. Tencent was founded in the same year with Yu Quan. One year later, Baidu, the one that would become the public enemy of China music industry because of its MP3 search service which didn’t filter out pirated digital songs, and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba were founded.

Realizing the power of the Internet, the two decided to establish their own label, named EQ, in 2004 to produce artists tailored to the Web. Different from conventional labels, theirs was to introduce low-cost new artists, produce as many copyrighted songs as possible and promote those singers and songs mainly through new media. A lot of songs made by the company managed to become hits on China Mobile’s mobile ringtone platform which was once one of the few channels the China music industry could make money from digital. But currently China’s copyright market doesn’t make life easy for EQ.

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Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com