Music streaming

Alibaba closes its music streaming app

The company announced on Tuesday that Xiami Music will end on February 5 “due to adjustments in business development.” The news comes as the company co-founded by Jack Ma faces pressure from regulators on multiple fronts.

Xiami was established in 2006 and bought by Alibaba in 2013 as the company sought to bolster its music offerings. The company offered Xiami and another app, Ali Planet, as music streaming apps under its music division, Ali Music. (Ali Planet was shut down at the end of 2016.)

But Alibaba soon faced regulatory challenges. In July 2015, Beijing began cracking down on music copyright infringement – a campaign that rang Ali Music and many other services.

Music streaming services in China removed more than two million unauthorized songs from their websites and apps over a three-week period that summer, according to the National Copyright Administration, the top copyright regulator. copyright in China. Ali Music alone deleted around 26,000 songs from its apps, according to a report by the state-run People’s Daily.
The competition is also fierce. In 2016, the Chinese gaming and entertainment giant Tencent (TCEHY) established its own music entertainment division which dominated the market with popular streaming platforms Kugou Music, QQ Music and Kuwo Music.

These three platforms have a total of 430 million monthly active users, according to data compiled by MobTech, a Chinese research firm. By comparison, Xiami Music has less than 7 million monthly active users.

Xiami Music and the now-defunct Ali Plant weren’t Alibaba’s only forays into the industry. In 2019, Alibaba took a minority stake in NetEase Cloud Music for $700 million.

But while NetEase Cloud Music has 99 million users, according to MobTech, it still lags behind all of Tencent’s services.

Alibaba is now facing a Chinese antitrust probe, while its financial subsidiary, Ant Group, has been ordered by regulators to review the bulk of its operations. Meanwhile, Ma has disappeared from public view.


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