China

When I did a China update before I saw a large spike in reader interest. So, following China’s acquisition of a $3bn stake in Blackstone, the US private equity company, the ramifications of which are still being discussed, it seemed a good time to revisit China.

There has been much to and fro-ing between the US and China, what with the WTO activity, and now there is also a pact on physical piracy data. Not before time since China is behind 93% of euro cd piracy according to Billboard

In music the mobile market is picking up in China driven not least by realistic pricing, huge numbers of handset owners and a degree of distrust of online payment mechanisms meaning consumers lean towards the operator-controlled billing. An interesting aside is that there has been moves to adopt Western mobile standards  in China.

There has been much copyright related legal activity with Baidu and Yahoo! China and there are other similar services online already, as well as talk of plans from Baidu to expand overseas.
Another interesting aside is Google’s testimony on China which can be read here.  

After all this criticism the Chinese launched a 2007 Action Plan which may be aimed at tackling protectionist measures in the US. (more detail on the Plan here)

So, battle lines are being drawn at the same time as increases in trade and investment. With internet penetration at 10%, and that already equating to an online audience of 60m, there is huge potential in this market but the question remains how to make digital entertainment pay.

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