Top100.cn is one of the first legitimate digital music providers in China. Its founder Gary Chen is known for managing to convince, promising to share advertising revenues, the international and local music labels to offer free downloads through Google China music search which was launched in 2008. Top100 was found shut down in April 2013, half a year after Google China terminated the music search service. Mr. Chen disclosed that the traffic on the site decreased by 80% after the Google China’s move, and there was a big loss in advertising. After the site was shut down, Chen began re-selling music rights.

Without the help from Google, Top100 is just one of a dozen legitimate online music services in China. Many of them now have way more users than Top100.

It’s not that digi-music piracy has completely disappeared on the Chinese Web. But now legal digital music is the convenient for Chinese users as the traditional music industry have managed to have the majority of online music services in China pay for music rights. Apart from a few independent sites, music streaming and downloading offerings are also available with everyday Internet services Chinese use, such as instant messaging service by Tencent, search by Baidu, and online shopping by Alibaba.

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Tracey Xiang

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