Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has shut its China-only music service, according to an official blog post from the company. Originally launched in March 2009, it survived the upheavals of Google closing its Google.cn search engine in the midst of a bitter row with Chinese authorities about censoring search results.
The Google China music service – at google.cn/music – is giving users until October 19th to export their music playlists as a downloadable file. But all its streaming and legal MP3 downloads have been terminated from today.
Why is this happening? The official Google China blog (which is blocked in China, along with the whole of the company’s Blogger service) indicates in its post today that it’s just about prioritizing products. The post concedes (translation is mine): “The impact of this product is not as great as we expected, so we decided to shift resources to other products.” Google then notes that the China-based music staff will go to work on other projects, so no job losses will result.
Fans of the Google China music web app have plenty of alternatives, such as the licensed music service from search rival Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU), called Baidu Ting. There are also plenty of startups in the country, like Xiami or Jing.fm, that’ll be happy to pick up new users in search of good tunes.