Baidu Leads New Round Of investment On NetEase Cloud Music

Baidu CEO Robin Li
Baidu CEO Robin Li attends the WAIC (World Artificial Intelligence Conference) in Shanghai, China (Photo: REUTERS/Aly Song)

The Chinese equivalent for Spotify, NetEase Cloud Music receives a new round of investment from Internet search giant in China, Baidu. The two have entered into an agreement to further engage in greater cooperation in relation to content traffic flow as well as copyright. 

With the support of the Baidu app, the content of NetEase Cloud Music can now be more extensively searched by the hundreds of millions of Chinese users. Baidu and NetEase Cloud Music are also now cooperating to drive developments in the field of intelligent hardware. The investment made by Baidu on NetEast Cloud Music, however, remains undisclosed to the public. 

Once the collaboration is underway, NetEase will be able to connect to the DuerOS platform and utilize Baidu's AI technology to develop a whole range of novel and upgraded music service experiences for users in various scenarios. 

Baidu's decision to invest in NetEase is not surprising. Baidu has recently committed itself to invest in content. Since 2017, the company has increased its shares of Baidu Video significantly as well as Zongheng Literature. It also allocated more attention and money in different content industry companies, including Qingting FM and Renren Video. 

According to market watchers, this latest investment can serve as Baidu's official comeback to the online music-streaming industry. At present, this industry is dominated by Tencent Music Entertainment Group.  Tencent was able to rise to this rank by merging its music-streaming operations with market leader China Music Corporation. As a result, QQ Music, KuGuo and Kuwo's services were brought under one umbrella. Even though Baidu has been labeled as the pioneer of China's online music-streaming industry as early as 2002, it vanished into the sidelines when new competitors emerged. A horde or rivals with much more popular and innovative services promptly pushed it out. The investment on NetEase is therefore wise and strategical. 

Recently, there are also allegations that TRON will partner with Baidu. TRON is a global blockchain-based decentralized protocol aiming to form a worldwide-free content entertainment system. Neither Baidu nor TRON, however, commented or confirmed these reports.

Apart from Baidu, there are also speculators that TRON's partner would be Ripple or Disney. If Baidu is ultimately the mysterious partner, however, this is not that surprising. Baidu has a higher revenue compared to the combined revenues of both eBay and Netflix. Even though their daily traffic is only from Mainland China (99%), this already amounts to 770 million every day. 

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