Posted inNews

Rumours swirl in China about future of Alibaba’s Xiami

Xiami is the Chinese music streaming service owned by tech firm Alibaba. It’s well established, but lacks the profile of Tencent Music’s three services (QQ Music, Kugou and Kuwo) or NetEase Cloud Music.

Now Chinese social media is abuzz with the rumour that Xiami may be closing down at the start of 2021. It started with a post on Weibo purportedly by music executive Xiang Zheng, with follow-on reports that “Xiami’s marketing directors are meeting in Beijing to discuss the closure and an announcement will be made after they head back to Hangzhou, where Xiami’s head office is located”.

No official comment has been made at the time of writing though. One reason that the story has gone viral in China is that Alibaba bought a minority stake (but still valued in the hundreds of millions) in NetEase Cloud Music in September 2019, raising questions about its commitment to Xiami.

Posted inAnalysis, News

China focus: WMG expands but Taylor Swift blocks free streams

China has long been one of the most fascinating yet problematic markets for recorded music, certainly from the perspective of western labels and artists.

Potentially huge audiences, and plenty of innovation around technology and digital business models, but also the perception of a widespread, deeply-ingrained culture of piracy. But as time has gone on, the prospect of turning the latter around has encouraged a growing number of companies – local and international alike – to put more energy into China.